A Caltech Library Service

Bactofilins, a ubiquitous class of cytoskeletal proteins mediating polar localization of a cell wall synthase in Caulobacter crescentus

Kühn, Juliane and Briegel, Ariane and Mörschel, Erhard and Kahnt, Jörg and Leser, Katja and Wick, Stephanie and Jensen, Grant J. and Thanbichler, Martin (2010) Bactofilins, a ubiquitous class of cytoskeletal proteins mediating polar localization of a cell wall synthase in Caulobacter crescentus. EMBO Journal, 29 (2). pp. 327-339. ISSN 0261-4189. PMCID PMC2824468.

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

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The cytoskeleton has a key function in the temporal and spatial organization of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Here, we report the identification of a new class of polymer-forming proteins, termed bactofilins, that are widely conserved among bacteria. In Caulobacter crescentus, two bactofilin paralogues cooperate to form a sheet-like structure lining the cytoplasmic membrane in proximity of the stalked cell pole. These assemblies mediate polar localization of a peptidoglycan synthase involved in stalk morphogenesis, thus complementing the function of the actin-like cytoskeleton and the cell division machinery in the regulation of cell wall biogenesis. In other bacteria, bactofilins can establish rod-shaped filaments or associate with the cell division apparatus, indicating considerable structural and functional flexibility. Bactofilins polymerize spontaneously in the absence of additional cofactors in vitro, forming stable ribbon- or rod-like filament bundles. Our results suggest that these structures have evolved as an alternative to intermediate filaments, serving as versatile molecular scaffolds in a variety of cellular pathways.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle CentralArticle
Briegel, Ariane0000-0003-3733-3725
Jensen, Grant J.0000-0003-1556-4864
Thanbichler, Martin0000-0002-1303-1442
Additional Information:© 2010 European Molecular Biology Organization. Received 8 June 2009; Accepted 26 October 2009. Published online: 3 December 2009. We thank Lotte Søgaard-Andersen for access to the Department of Ecophysiology mass spectrometry facility and Stefanie Reibmann, Susan Schlimpert, and Daniela Kiekebusch for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by funds from the Max Planck Society, a Young Investigator Grant (RGY 69/2008) from the Human Frontier Science Program to MT, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant R01 AI067548 to GJJ.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Human Frontier Science ProgramRGY 69/2008
NIHR01 AI067548
Subject Keywords:cytoskeleton; Myxococcus xanthus; penicillin-binding protein; peptidoglycan; stalk
Issue or Number:2
PubMed Central ID:PMC2824468
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100218-083022805
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17511
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Feb 2010 18:34
Last Modified:23 Apr 2020 23:43

Repository Staff Only: item control page