© 2017

Prokaryotic Cytoskeletons

Filamentous Protein Polymers Active in the Cytoplasm of Bacterial and Archaeal Cells

  • Jan Löwe
  • Linda A. Amos
  • Is the first book to bring together a wide range of expert opinion in this new highly-active field

  • Focusses on supramolecular structure and function: filaments working as intracellular machines

  • Provides high quality color figures to support the text


Part of the Subcellular Biochemistry book series (SCBI, volume 84)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Joe Lutkenhaus, Shishen Du
    Pages 27-65
  3. Jeff Errington, Ling Juan Wu
    Pages 67-101 Open Access
  4. Harold P. Erickson, Masaki Osawa
    Pages 139-160
  5. Piotr Szwedziak, Debnath Ghosal
    Pages 213-244
  6. Thierry Izoré, Fusinita van den Ent
    Pages 245-266
  7. Gero Fink, Christopher H. S. Aylett
    Pages 323-356
  8. Rachel Y. Samson, Megan J. Dobro, Grant J. Jensen, Stephen D. Bell
    Pages 357-377
  9. Ann-Christin Lindås, Karin Valegård, Thijs J. G. Ettema
    Pages 379-392
  10. Christopher H. S. Aylett, Iain G. Duggin
    Pages 393-417
  11. Martin Loose, Katja Zieske, Petra Schwille
    Pages 419-444
  12. Jan Löwe, Linda A. Amos
    Pages E1-E1
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 445-450

About this book


This book describes the structures and functions of active protein filaments, found in bacteria and archaea, and now known to perform crucial roles in cell division and intra-cellular motility, as well as being essential for controlling cell shape and growth. These roles are possible because the cytoskeletal and cytomotive filaments provide long range order from small subunits. Studies of these filaments are therefore of central importance to understanding prokaryotic cell biology. The wide variation in subunit and polymer structure and its relationship with the range of functions also provide important insights into cell evolution, including the emergence of eukaryotic cells.

Individual chapters, written by leading researchers, review the great advances made in the past 20-25 years, and still ongoing, to discover the architectures, dynamics and roles of filaments found in relevant model organisms. Others describe one of the families of dynamic filaments found in many species. The most common types of filament are deeply related to eukaryotic cytoskeletal proteins, notably actin and tubulin that polymerise and depolymerise under the control of nucleotide hydrolysis. Related systems are found to perform a variety of roles, depending on the organisms. Surprisingly, prokaryotes all lack the molecular motors associated with eukaryotic F-actin and microtubules. Archaea, but not bacteria, also have active filaments related to the eukaryotic ESCRT system. Non-dynamic fibres, including intermediate filament-like structures, are known to occur in some bacteria.. Details of known filament structures are discussed and related to what has been established about their molecular mechanisms, including current controversies. The final chapter covers the use of some of these dynamic filaments in Systems Biology research. The level of information in all chapters is suitable both for active researchers and for advanced students in courses involving bacterial or archaeal physiology, molecular microbiology, structural cell biology, molecular motility or evolution.

Chapter 3 of this book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.


Bacterial Cell Division Bacterial Cytomotive Filaments Actin Family Tubulin Family Plasmid Segregation

Editors and affiliations

  • Jan Löwe
    • 1
  • Linda A. Amos
    • 2
  1. 1.Structural Studies DivisionMRC Laboratory of Molecular BiologyCambridgeUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Structural Studies DivisionMRC Laboratory of Molecular BiologyCambridgeUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Prokaryotic Cytoskeletons
  • Book Subtitle Filamentous Protein Polymers Active in the Cytoplasm of Bacterial and Archaeal Cells
  • Editors Jan Löwe
    Linda A. Amos
  • Series Title Subcellular Biochemistry
  • Series Abbreviated Title Subcellular Biochemistry
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-53045-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-85048-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-53047-5
  • Series ISSN 0306-0225
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 450
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 69 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Protein Science
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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