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Cell Biochem Biophys. 1999;31(3):247-84.

Principles of macromolecular organization and cell function in bacteria and archaea.

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Abteilung Strukfurelle Mikrobiologie, Georg-August-Universitat, Göttingen, Germany.


Structural organization of the cytoplasm by compartmentation is a well established fact for the eukaryotic cell. In prokaryotes, compartmentation is less obvious. Most prokaryotes do not need intracytoplasmic membranes to maintain their vital functions. This review, especially dealing with prokaryotes, will point out that compartmentation in prokaryotes is present, but not only achieved by membranes. Besides membranes, the nucleoid, multienzyme complexes and metabolons, storage granules, and cytoskeletal elements are involved in compartmentation. In this respect, the organization of the cytoplasm of prokaryotes is similar to that in the eukaryotic cell. Compartmentation influences properties of water in cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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