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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009 Oct;66(20):3353-62. doi: 10.1007/s00018-009-0092-5. Epub 2009 Jul 30.

The dynamic nature of the bacterial cytoskeleton.

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Department of Molecular, Microbial and Structural Biology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


Three of the four well-established bacterial cytoskeletal systems-the MreB, MinCDE, and FtsZ systems-undergo a variety of short-range and long-range dynamic behaviors. These include the cellular reorganization of the cytoskeletal elements, in which the proteins redistribute from a predominantly helical pole-to-pole pattern into annular structures near midcell. Despite their apparent similarity, these dramatic redistributional events in the three systems are in large part independent of each other. In addition, some of the cytoskeletal structures undergo oscillatory behavior in which the helical elements move repetitively back-and-forth between the two ends of the cell. The details and mechanisms underlying these dynamic cellular events are just now being revealed by fluorescence microscopy of intact cells, fluorescence photobleaching recovery studies, single molecule tracking techniques, and in vitro studies of the purified proteins.

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