Biogenesis of Lipoproteins in Gram-Negative Bacteria: 50 Years of Progress


  • James C. Kuldell Hofstra University
  • Harshani Luknauth Hofstra University
  • Anthony E. Ricigliano Hofstra University
  • Nathan W. Rigel Hofstra University



lipoprotein, Gram-negative, Lgt, LspA, Lnt


The outer membrane is the defining characteristic of Gram-negative bacteria and is crucial for the maintenance of cellular integrity. Lipoproteins are an essential component of this outer membrane and regulate broad cellular functions ranging from efflux, cellular physiology, antibiotic resistance, and pathogenicity. In the canonical model of lipoprotein biogenesis, lipoprotein precursors are first synthesized in the cytoplasm prior to extensive modifications by the consecutive action of three key enzymes: diacylglyceryl transferase (Lgt), lipoprotein signal peptidase A (LspA), and apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase (Lnt). This enzymatic process modifies lipoprotein precursors for subsequent trafficking by the Lol pathway. The function of these three enzymes were originally thought to be essential, however, in some Gram-negative bacteria, namely Acinetobacter baylyi, the third enzyme Lnt is dispensable. Here we review the function and significance of Lgt, LspA, and Lnt in outer membrane biogenesis and how non-canonical models of lipoprotein processing in Acinetobacter spp. can enhance our understanding of lipoprotein modifications and trafficking.




How to Cite

Kuldell, J. C., Luknauth, H., Ricigliano, A. E., & Rigel, N. W. (2021). Biogenesis of Lipoproteins in Gram-Negative Bacteria: 50 Years of Progress. Fine Focus, 7(1), 9–24.