Biotechnological advances in Bacterial Microcompartment technology

Matthew J. Lee, David J. Palmer, Martin J. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) represent proteinaceous macromolecular nanobioreactors that are found in a broad range of bacteria, and which are associated with either anabolic or catabolic processes. They consist of a semipermeable outer shell that packages a central metabolic enzyme or pathway, providing both enhanced flux and protection against toxic intermediates. Recombinant production of BMCs has led to their repurposing with the incorporation of altogether new pathways. Deconstructing BMCs into their component parts has shown that some individual shell proteins self-associate into filaments that can be further modified into a cytoplasmic scaffold, or cytoscaffold, to which enzymes/proteins can be targeted. BMCs therefore represent a modular system that is highly suited for engineering biological systems for useful purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • bacterial microcompartments
  • metabolic engineering
  • metabolism
  • protein engineering
  • shell
  • synthetic biology

Cite this