alexa The actin-like MreB proteins in Bacillus subtilis: a new turn.


Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry

Author(s): Chastanet A, CarballidoLopez R

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Abstract A decade ago, two breakthrough descriptions were reported: 1) the first helix-like protein localization pattern of MreB and its paralog Mbl in Bacillus subtilis and 2) the crystal structure of Thermotoga maritima MreB1, which was remarkably similar to that of actin. These discoveries strongly stimulated the field of bacterial development, leading to the identification of many new cytoskeletal proteins (1) and the publication of many studies describing the helical patterns of protein, DNA and even lipid domains. However, today, new breakthroughs are shaking up what had become a dogma. Instead of helical structures, MreBs appear to form discrete patches that move circumferentially around the cell, questioning the idea of MreB cables forming an actin-like cytoskeleton. Furthermore, increasing evidence of biochemical properties that are unlike the properties of actin suggest that the molecular behavior of MreB proteins may be different. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge of the so-called "actin-like" MreB cytoskeleton through a discussion of the model Gram-positive bacterium B. subtilis and the most recent findings in this rapidly evolving research field.
This article was published in Front Biosci (Schol Ed) and referenced in Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry

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