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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2005 Feb;17(1):75-81.

Increasing complexity of the bacterial cytoskeleton.

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MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK.


Bacteria contain cytoskeletal elements involved in major cellular processes including DNA segregation and cell morphogenesis and division. Distant bacterial homologues of tubulin (FtsZ) and actin (MreB and ParM) not only resemble their eukaryotic counterparts structurally but also show similar functional characteristics, assembling into filamentous structures in a nucleotide-dependent fashion. Recent advances in fluorescence microscopic imaging have revealed that FtsZ and MreB form highly dynamic helical structures that encircle the cells along the inside of the cell membrane. With the discovery of crescentin, a cell-shape-determining protein that resembles eukaryotic intermediate filament proteins, the third major cytoskeletal element has now been identified in bacteria as well.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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