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Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2007 Mar;71(1):230-53.

Functional taxonomy of bacterial hyperstructures.

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  • 1Department of Science, University of Rouen, 76821 Mont Saint Aignan Cedex, France. vjn@univ-rouen.fr

Abstract

The levels of organization that exist in bacteria extend from macromolecules to populations. Evidence that there is also a level of organization intermediate between the macromolecule and the bacterial cell is accumulating. This is the level of hyperstructures. Here, we review a variety of spatially extended structures, complexes, and assemblies that might be termed hyperstructures. These include ribosomal or "nucleolar" hyperstructures; transertion hyperstructures; putative phosphotransferase system and glycolytic hyperstructures; chemosignaling and flagellar hyperstructures; DNA repair hyperstructures; cytoskeletal hyperstructures based on EF-Tu, FtsZ, and MreB; and cell cycle hyperstructures responsible for DNA replication, sequestration of newly replicated origins, segregation, compaction, and division. We propose principles for classifying these hyperstructures and finally illustrate how thinking in terms of hyperstructures may lead to a different vision of the bacterial cell.

PMID:
17347523
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1847379
Free PMC Article
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