Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 20, pp 3353–3362

The dynamic nature of the bacterial cytoskeleton


DOI: 10.1007/s00018-009-0092-5

Cite this article as:
Vats, P., Yu, J. & Rothfield, L. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2009) 66: 3353. doi:10.1007/s00018-009-0092-5


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.


Bacterial cytoskeleton MreB FtsZ Min FRAP Single molecule 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular, Microbial and Structural BiologyUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Center for Cell Analysis and ModelingUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations