Cell shape determination in Escherichia coli.: "Publication Date: 2007 Nov 1 PMID: 17981077
Authors: Osborn, M. J. - Rothfield, L.
Journal: Curr Opin Microbiol
The rigid cell wall peptidoglycan (murein) is a single giant macromolecule whose shape determines the shape of the bacterial cell. Insight into morphogenetic mechanism(s) responsible for determining the shape of the murein sacculus itself has begun to emerge only in recent years. The discovery that MfreB and Mbl are cytoskeletal actin homologues that form helical structures extending from pole to pole in rod-shaped cells has opened an exciting new field of microbial cell biology. MreB (in Gram-negative rods) and Mbl (in Gram-positive species) are essential for murein synthesis along the lateral wall and hence, the rod shape of the cell. Known members of the morphogenetic system include MreB (or Mbl), MreC, MreD and PBP2, but Rod A and murein biosynthetic enzymes involved in peptidoglycan precursor synthesis and assembly are likely to be recruited to the same multimolecular apparatus. However, the actual role of MreB in assembly of the morphogenetic complex is still not clear and little is known about regulatory mechanisms controlling the switch from lateral murein elongation to septa1 murein synthesis at the time of cell division.