Bacterial subcellular architecture: recent advances and future prospects
Article first published online: 6 OCT 2004
Volume 54, Issue 5, pages 1135–1150, December 2004
How to Cite
Lewis, P. J. (2004), Bacterial subcellular architecture: recent advances and future prospects. Molecular Microbiology, 54: 1135–1150. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2004.04343.x
- Issue published online: 6 OCT 2004
- Article first published online: 6 OCT 2004
- Accepted 9 August, 2004.
Traditional textbook representations of the prokaryotic cytoplasm show an amorphous, unstructured amalgamation of proteins and small molecules in which a randomly arranged chromosome resides. The development and application of a swathe of microscopic techniques over the last 10 years in particular, has shown this image of the microbial cell to be incorrect: the cytoplasm is highly structured with many proteins carrying out their assigned functions at specific subcellular locations; bacteria contain cytoskeletal elements including microtubule, actin and intermediate filament homologues; the chromosome is not randomly folded and is organized in such a way as to facilitate efficient segregation upon cell division. This review will concentrate on recent advances in our understanding of subcellular architecture and the techniques that have led to these discoveries.