The role of lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) in the biogenesis of outer membrane proteins have been investigated in several studies. Some of these analyses showed that LPS is required for correct and efficient folding of outer membrane proteins; other studies support the idea of independence of outer membrane proteins biogenesis from LPS structure. In this article, we investigated the involvement of LPS structure in the anomalous aggregation of outer membrane proteins in a E. coli mutant strain (S17-1(λpir)). To achieve this aim, the LPS structure of the mutant strain was carefully determined and compared with the E. coli K-12 one. It turned out that LPS of these two strains differs in the inner core for the absence of a heptose residue (HepIII). We demonstrated that this difference is due to a mutation in waaQ, a gene encoding the transferase for the branch heptose HepIII residue. The mutation was complemented to find out if the restoration of LPS structure influenced the observed outer membrane proteins aggregation. Data reported in this work demonstrated that, in E. coli S17-1(λpir) there is no influence of LPS structure on the outer membrane proteins inclusion bodies formation.

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