Title

Functional taxonomy of bacterial hyperstructures.

Publication Date

3-1-2007

Journal

Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2007 March; 71(1): 230–253.

Abstract

The levels of organization that exist in bacteria extend from macromolecules to populations. Evidence that there is also a level of organization intermediate between the macromolecule and the bacterial cell is accumulating. This is the level of hyperstructures. Here, we review a variety of spatially extended structures, complexes, and assemblies that might be termed hyperstructures. These include ribosomal or "nucleolar" hyperstructures; transertion hyperstructures; putative phosphotransferase system and glycolytic hyperstructures; chemosignaling and flagellar hyperstructures; DNA repair hyperstructures; cytoskeletal hyperstructures based on EF-Tu, FtsZ, and MreB; and cell cycle hyperstructures responsible for DNA replication, sequestration of newly replicated origins, segregation, compaction, and division. We propose principles for classifying these hyperstructures and finally illustrate how thinking in terms of hyperstructures may lead to a different vision of the bacterial cell.

Keywords

Bacteria, Bacterial Physiological Phenomena, Bacterial Proteins, Chromosomes, Bacterial, DNA, Bacterial, Flagella, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Metabolic Networks and Pathways