Effect of Natural Polymorphism on Structure and Function of the Yersinia Pestis Outer Membrane Porin F (OmpF Protein): a Computational Study

Document Type


Publication Date



polymorphism, protein structure, protein function, bacterial porin, homology modeling, intrinsically disordered proteins

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



The Yersinia pestis outer membrane porin F (OmpF) is a transmembrane protein located in the outer membrane of this Gram-negative bacterium which is the causative agent of plague, where it plays a significant role in controlling the selective permeability of the membrane. The amino acid sequences of OmpF proteins from 48 Y. pestis strains representing all currently available phylogenetic groups of this Gram-negative bacterium were recently deduced. Comparison of these amino acid sequences revealed that the OmpF can be present in four isoforms, the pestis-pestis type, and the pestis-microtus types I, II, and III. OmpF of the most recent pestis-pestis type has an alanine residue at the position 148, where all the pestis-microtus types have threonine there (T148A polymorphism). The variability of different pestis-microtus types is caused by an additional polymorphism at the 193rd position, where the OmpFs of the pestis-microtus type II and type III have isoleucine-glycine (IG+193) or isoleucine-glycine-isoleucine-glycine (IGIG+193) insertions, respectively (IG+193 and IGIG+193 polymorphism). To investigate potential effects of these sequence polymorphisms on the structural properties of the OmpF protein, we conducted multi-level computational analysis of its isoforms. Analysis of the I-TASSER-generated 3D-models revealed that the Yersinia OmpF is very similar to other non-specific enterobacterial porins. The T148A polymorphism affected a loop located in the external vestibule of the OmpF channel, whereas IG+193 and IGIG+193 polymorphisms affected one of its β-strands. Our analysis also suggested that polymorphism has moderate effect on the predicted local intrinsic disorder predisposition of OmpF, but might have some functional implementations.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, v. 35, issue 12, p. 2588-2603