A Caltech Library Service

Bacterial microcompartment organization by cryo electron tomography and high-resolution subtomogram averaging

Metskas, Lauren Ann and Ortega, Davi and Oltrogge, Luke M. and Blikstad, Cecilia and Savage, David and Jensen, Grant J. (2022) Bacterial microcompartment organization by cryo electron tomography and high-resolution subtomogram averaging. Biophysical Journal, 121 (3). 168a. ISSN 0006-3495. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2021.11.1892.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Roughly 20% of bacteria employ bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) to sequester dangerous or inefficient enzymatic processes. In these structures, a cargo of enzymes and accessory proteins is encased within a semi-permeable protein shell that permits passage of substrates and products but restricts movement of intermediates. In addition to their importance as a component of many bacterial species' metabolisms, BMCs have become a target of protein engineering due to their potential for alternative pharmacological and biotechnological applications. Despite the importance of BMCs in prokaryotic biology and bioengineering, structural heterogeneity has prevented a complete understanding of the architecture, ultrastructure, and spatial organization of both the shell proteins and the cargo. Here, we employ cryo electron tomography to image intact alpha-carboxysomes, a model BMC responsible for carbon fixation in cyanobacteria and chemoautotrophs. We have identified novel arrangements of the enzymatic cargo, RuBisCO, characterized states of known protein-protein interactions, and solved a high-resolution subtomogram average of the enzyme in situ. Efforts are underway to identify and resolve additional cargo components and the lattice-like arrangement of the shell proteins to build a complete model of the entire assembly. Taken together, these data offer new insights into conserved BMC organization and heterogeneity, and characterize arrangements that were unresolved in previous in vitro and low-resolution in situ studies.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Metskas, Lauren Ann0000-0002-8073-6960
Ortega, Davi0000-0002-8344-2335
Oltrogge, Luke M.0000-0001-5716-9980
Blikstad, Cecilia0000-0001-5740-926X
Savage, David0000-0003-0042-2257
Jensen, Grant J.0000-0003-1556-4864
Additional Information:© 2021 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. Available online 11 February 2022, Version of Record 11 February 2022.
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220425-145423351
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Lauren Ann Metskas, Davi Ortega, Luke M. Oltrogge, Cecilia Blikstad, David Savage, Grant J. Jensen, Bacterial microcompartment organization by cryo electron tomography and high-resolution subtomogram averaging, Biophysical Journal, Volume 121, Issue 3, Supplement 1, 2022, Page 168a, ISSN 0006-3495,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114447
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Apr 2022 18:18
Last Modified:25 Apr 2022 18:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page