Multidrug efflux systems: information on evolution and mechanisms uncovered

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Researchers from Osaka University (Japan) have discovered that a relatively ancient drug efflux pump from Haemophilus influenzae exports the same antibiotics as its evolved counterpart from Escherichia coli, but was mitigated by a leaky porin channel.

The study, recently published in Communications Biology, investigated the evolutionary relationships between RND-type efflux pumps, which function to remove compounds, such as antibiotics, out of cells.

The team discovered that RND efflux pump acrB, from H. influenzae, was a relatively ancient protein compared with a more involved counterpart found in Escherichia coli, however it still exported the same antibiotics, suggesting that multidrug recognition and resistance is an old trait.

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