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Michael Ingerson-Mahar and Zemer Gitai A growing family: the expanding universe of the bacterial cytoskeleton FEMS Microbiology Reviews 36

Article first published online: 28 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2011.00316.x

The identification of the FtsZ tubulin homolog, the MreB actin homolog, and the crescentin intermediate filament homolog represented breakthroughs that established the importance of the bacterial cytoskeleton. However, recent studies demonstrate that these proteins only represent the tip of the cytoskeletal iceberg. There are many diverse homologs of actin, tubulin, and intermediate filaments in bacteria. Moreover, bacteria possess additional cytoskeletal elements such as WACAs and bactofilins not found in eukaryotes. Finally, new ubiquitously-conserved cytoskeletal elements are being discovered. For example, many metabolic enzymes appear to form filaments and some, like CTP Synthase, can be repurposed for structural functions.

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