Cyanobacterial membrane dynamics in the light of eukaryotic principles

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Intracellular compartmentalization is a hallmark of eukaryotic cells. Dynamic membrane remodeling, involving membrane fission/fusion events, clearly is crucial for cell viability and function, as well as membrane stabilization and/or repair, e.g., during or after injury. In recent decades, several proteins involved in membrane stabilization and/or dynamic membrane remodeling have been identified and described in eukaryotes. Yet, while typically not having a cellular organization as complex as eukaryotes, also bacteria can contain extra internal membrane systems besides the cytoplasmic membranes (CMs). Thus, also in bacteria mechanisms must have evolved to stabilize membranes and/or trigger dynamic membrane remodeling processes. In fact, in recent years proteins, which were initially defined being eukaryotic inventions, have been recognized also in bacteria, and likely these proteins shape membranes also in these organisms. One example of a complex prokaryotic inner membrane system is the thylakoid membrane (TM) of cyanobacteria, which contains the complexes of the photosynthesis light reaction. Cyanobacteria are evolutionary closely related to chloroplasts, and extensive remodeling of the internal membrane systems has been observed in chloroplasts and cyanobacteria during membrane biogenesis and/or at changing light conditions. We here discuss common principles guiding eukaryotic and prokaryotic membrane dynamics and the proteins involved, with a special focus on the dynamics of the cyanobacterial TMs and CMs.




Siebenaller, C., & Schneider, D. (2023, February 1). Cyanobacterial membrane dynamics in the light of eukaryotic principles. Bioscience Reports. Portland Press Ltd.

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