Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010 Apr;2(4):a000307. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a000307. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

Protein subcellular localization in bacteria.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. <>


Like their eukaryotic counterparts, bacterial cells have a highly organized internal architecture. Here, we address the question of how proteins localize to particular sites in the cell and how they do so in a dynamic manner. We consider the underlying mechanisms that govern the positioning of proteins and protein complexes in the examples of the divisome, polar assemblies, cytoplasmic clusters, cytoskeletal elements, and organelles. We argue that geometric cues, self-assembly, and restricted sites of assembly are all exploited by the cell to specifically localize particular proteins that we refer to as anchor proteins. These anchor proteins in turn govern the localization of a whole host of additional proteins. Looking ahead, we speculate on the existence of additional mechanisms that contribute to the organization of bacterial cells, such as the nucleoid, membrane microdomains enriched in specific lipids, and RNAs with positional information.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center