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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2001 Dec;4(6):634-8.

Bacterial ancestry of actin and tubulin.

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Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, CB2 2QH, Cambridge, UK


The structural and functional resemblance between the bacterial cell-division protein FtsZ and eukaryotic tubulin was the first indication that the eukaryotic cytoskeleton may have a prokaryotic origin. The bacterial ancestry is made even more obvious by the findings that the bacterial cell-shape-determining proteins Mreb and Mbl form large spirals inside non-spherical cells, and that MreB polymerises in vitro into protofilaments very similar to actin. Recent advances in research on two proteins involved in prokaryotic cytokinesis and cell shape determination that have similar properties to the key components of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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