IMR Press / FBL / Volume 11 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/1943

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Subcellular structures of mycoplasmas
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1 Department of Microbiology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA
Academic Editor:Maxim V. Trushin
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2006, 11(3), 2017–2027;
Published: 1 May 2006
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent advances in mycoplasmology)

Although the field of prokaryotic cell biology is well-advanced now, mycoplasmas were the first bacteria in which the existence of a cytoskeleton was postulated. Despite this head-start, the cytoskeletons of mycoplasmas are presently less well understood than those of other bacteria. This deficit is principally attributable to three factors: the novel nature of most of the cytoskeletal elements as compared with other bacteria, which have the advantage of being related to eukaryotic cytoskeletal proteins; differences among the cytoskeletons of different mycoplasma species; and the fastidiousness of mycoplasmas, which complicates efforts to perform protein biochemistry. In better studied mycoplasmas like Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a major component of the cytoskeleton is associated with the attachment organelle, a polar structure that is essential for adherence to host cells, involved in gliding motility, and associated with cell division. Mycoplasma mobile also has structures that appear to be involved in gliding motility, though in contrast to the structures of M. pneumoniae, these are extracellular. Some other species also have distinct subcellular structures.

Attachment Organelle
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