Lookup NU author(s): Dr Romain Mercier,
Dr Patricia Dominguez Cuevas,
Professor Jeff Errington
Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.
The cell wall is a defining structural feature of the bacterial subkingdom. However, most bacteria are capable of mutating into a cell-wall-deficient "L-form'' state, requiring remarkable physiological and structural adaptations. L-forms proliferate by an unusual membrane deformation and scission process that is independent of the conserved and normally essential FtsZ based division machinery, and which may provide a model for the replication of primitive cells. Candidate gene screening revealed no requirement for the cytoskeletal systems that might actively drive membrane deformation or scission. Instead, we uncovered a crucial role for branched-chain fatty acid (BCFA) synthesis. BCFA-deficient mutants grow and undergo pulsating shape changes, but membrane scission fails, abolishing the separation of progeny cells. The failure in scission is associated with a reduction in membrane fluidity. The results identify a step in L-form proliferation and demonstrate that purely biophysical processes may have been sufficient for proliferation of primitive cells.
Author(s): Mercier R, Dominguez-Cuevas P, Errington J
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Cell Reports
Print publication date: 01/05/2012
ISSN (print): 2211-1247
Publisher: Cell Press
Altmetrics provided by Altmetric