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Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 89, Issue 10, pp 453–458 | Cite as

Cytoskeletal elements in the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae

  • Jan Hegermann
  • Richard Herrmann
  • Frank Mayer
Short Communication

Abstract.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a pathogenic eubacterium lacking a cell wall. Three decades ago, a "rod", an intracellular cytoskeletal structure, was discovered that was assumed to define and stabilize the elongated cell shape. Later, by treatment with detergent, a "Triton shell" (i.e. a fraction of detergent-insoluble cell material) could be obtained, believed to contain additional cytoskeletal elements. Now, by application of a modified Triton X-100 treatment, we are able to demonstrate that M. pneumoniae possesses a cytoskeleton consisting of a blade-like rod and a peripheral lining located close to the inner face of the cytoplasmic membrane, exhibiting features of a highly regular network. Attached "stalks" may support the cytoplasmic membrane. The rod was connected to the cell periphery by "spokes" and showed a defined ultrastructure. Its proximal end was found to be attached to a wheel-like complex. Fibrils extended from the proximal end of the rod into the cytoplasm.

Keywords

Cell Wall Fibril Cell Shape Cytoplasmic Membrane Mycoplasma Pneumoniae 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Hegermann
    • 1
  • Richard Herrmann
    • 2
  • Frank Mayer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Mikrobiologie und Genetik, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Grisebachstrasse 8, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
  2. 2.Zentrum für molekulare Biologie Heidelberg (ZMBH) Mikrobiologie, Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 282, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

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