Why are bacterial cell membranes negatively chargedWatch
Thank you for your interesting Q - firstly must admit that I did not know this - most cell membranes in nature have a negative charge on the intra-cellular aspect relative to the extra-cellular aspect, which is what permits the generation of the action potential from the resting potential (-70mV) in neurons.
The significance to us humans of the structure of bacterial cell membranes and their bacterial components is for us to target these "organelles" in order to kill bacteria to treat infections - (polymyxin and colistin are two antibiotics that compromise the cell membranes of bacteria selectively by binding to and disrupting the lipopolysaccharide of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria including E.coli, Salmonella, and Shigella - just for extra info!)
I suppose the integral protein of the cell membrane with their amphoteric properties including the negatively charged -COOH group when ionized, could make the membrane partly -ve. The structure of the bacterial cell membrane shown above does not give any clues, either.
Thanks for the reply
I was thinking the same as well, it is probably negatively charges due to the components like the phospholipids.
Also do you have any ideas what the membrane potential in bacterial cells is?