Effect of bio-engineering on size, shape, composition and rigidity of bacterial microcompartments

Matthias J. Mayer, Rokas Juodeikis, Ian R. Brown, Stefanie Frank, David J. Palmer, Evelyne Deery, David M. Beal, Wei Feng Xue, Martin J. Warren

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are proteinaceous organelles that are found in a broad range of bacteria and are composed of an outer shell that encases an enzyme cargo representing a specific metabolic process. The outer shell is made from a number of different proteins that form hexameric and pentameric tiles, which interact to allow the formation of a polyhedral edifice. We have previously shown that the Citrobacter freundii BMC associated with 1,2-propanediol utilization can be transferred into Escherichia coli to generate a recombinant BMC and that empty BMCs can be formed from just the shell proteins alone. Herein, a detailed structural and proteomic characterization of the wild type BMC is compared to the recombinant BMC and a number of empty BMC variants by 2D-gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Specifically, it is shown that the wild type BMC and the recombinant BMC are similar in terms of composition, size, shape and mechanical properties, whereas the empty BMC variants are shown to be smaller, hollow and less malleable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36899
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016

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