The region between the cytoplasmic membrane and the outer membrane is filled with a gel-like fluid called periplasm. In Gram-negative bacteria, all secreted proteins are contained within the periplasm unless they are specifically translocated across the outer membrane as well. Thus, the periplasm is filled with proteins involved in a variety of cellular activities, including nutrient degradation and transport. For example, the enzymes that cells secrete to break down peptides and other molecules are found in the periplasm. Similarly, the binding proteins of the ABC transport systems are found there.

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