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Nat Commun. 2014 Mar 7;5:3442. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4442.

The actin homologue MreB organizes the bacterial cell membrane.

Author information

1
Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Richardson Road, Newcastle NE2 4AX, UK.
2
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Chromosome Organization and Dynamics, Am Klopferspitz 18, Martinsried D-82152, Germany.
3
1] Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Richardson Road, Newcastle NE2 4AX, UK [2] Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1098 XH, The Netherlands.

Abstract

The eukaryotic cortical actin cytoskeleton creates specific lipid domains, including lipid rafts, which determine the distribution of many membrane proteins. Here we show that the bacterial actin homologue MreB displays a comparable activity. MreB forms membrane-associated filaments that coordinate bacterial cell wall synthesis. We noticed that the MreB cytoskeleton influences fluorescent staining of the cytoplasmic membrane. Detailed analyses combining an array of mutants, using specific lipid staining techniques and spectroscopic methods, revealed that MreB filaments create specific membrane regions with increased fluidity (RIFs). Interference with these fluid lipid domains (RIFs) perturbs overall lipid homeostasis and affects membrane protein localization. The influence of MreB on membrane organization and fluidity may explain why the active movement of MreB stimulates membrane protein diffusion. These novel MreB activities add additional complexity to bacterial cell membrane organization and have implications for many membrane-associated processes.

PMID:
24603761
PMCID:
PMC3955808
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4442
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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