1.B.10 The Nucleoside-specific Channel-forming Outer Membrane Porin (Tsx) Family

Functionally characterized proteins of the Tsx family are closely related proteins from enteric bacteria and their close relatives specific for nucleosides. They are of about 270 amino acyl residues in length and form monomeric 12-stranded β-barrel porins. They transport ribo- and deoxyribonucleosides as well as the antibiotic, abicidin, and they serve as receptors for bacteriophage and colicins. They possess a distant homologue in Vibrio parahaemolyticus (OmpK) which also serves as a phage receptor.

The crystal structure of Tsx of E. coli is known ± nucleoside (Ye and van den Berg, 2004). The monomeric 12-stranded β-barrel has a long narrow channel spanning the outer membrane. The channel is shaped like a keyhole and contains two well-defined nucleoside binding sites. The base moiety of the nucleoside is located in the narrow part of the keyhole, while the sugar occupies the wider opening. Pairs of aromatic residues and flanking ionizable residues are involved in nucleoside binding. Nucleoside transport presumably occurs by diffusion from one binding site to the next.

The generalized transport reaction catalyzed by charaterized members of the Tsx family is:

Nucleoside (out) Nucleoside (periplasm).

This family belongs to the Outer Membrane Pore-forming Protein I (OMPP-I) Superfamily .



Benz, R., A. Schmid, C. Maier, and E. Bremer. (1988). Characterization of the nucleoside-binding site inside the Tsx channel of Escherichia coli outer membrane. Reconstitution experiments with lipid bilayer membranes. Eur J Biochem 176: 699-705.

Inoue, T., S. Matsuzaki and S. Tanaka (1995). Cloning and sequence analysis of Vibrio parahaemolyticus ompK gene encoding a 26 kDa outer membrane protein, OmpK, that serves as receptor for a broad-host-range vibriophage, KVP40. FEMS. Microbiol. Lett. 134: 245-249.

Nieweg, A. and E. Bremer (1997). The nucleoside-specific Tsx channel from the outer membrane of Salmonella typhimurium, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterobacter aerogenes: functional characterization and DNA sequence analysis of the tsx genes. Microbiology 143: 603-615.

Ye, J. and B. van den Berg. (2004). Crystal structure of the bacterial nucleoside transporter Tsx. EMBO J. 23: 3187-3195.


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample

Nucleoside-specific channel forming protein, Tsx (Benz et al. 1988).

Gram-negative bacteria

Tsx of E. coli (P0A927)


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample
1.B.10.2.1Outer membrane protein phage receptor Gram-negative bacteria OmpK of Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Putative porin


Putative porin of Pseudomonas aeruginosa


Tsx porin homologue


Tsx porin family of Pseudomonas aeruginosa


Uncharacterized protein of 256 aas


UP of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis


Tsx homologue of 296 aas


Tsx homologue of Photorhabdus temperata


Tsx homologue of 262 aas


Tsx homologue of Coraliomargarita akajimensis


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample

Tsx porin family member


Tsx porin family member of E. coli


Uncharacterized porin of 226 aas


UP of Vibrio cholerae


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample