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Generating and Exploiting Polarity in Bacteria

Bacteria are often highly polarized, exhibiting specialized structures at or near the ends of the cell. Among such structures are actin-organizing centers, which mediate the movement of certain pathogenic bacteria within the cytoplasm of an animal host cell; organized arrays of membrane receptors, which govern chemosensory behavior in swimming bacteria; and asymmetrically positioned septa, which generate specialized progeny in differentiating bacteria. This polarization is orchestrated by complex and dynamic changes in the subcellular localization of signal transduction and cytoskeleton proteins as well as of specific regions of the chromosome. Recent work has provided information on how dynamic subcellular localization occurs and how it is exploited by the bacterial cell.

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Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Diagram
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Lucy Shapiro of Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Harley McAdams of Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Richard Losick of Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
Publisher: SCIENCE
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No


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