Bacterial cell polarity: A 'swarmer-stalked' tale of actin

Rong Li, Stephanie C. Wai

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The actin cytoskeleton is important for cell polarity and morphogenesis in eukaryotic organisms. A recent article describes an unexpected requirement for the actin-like protein MreB in the polarization of the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. More surprisingly, the formation of a filamentous MreB structure that traverses the length of the cell is sufficient for randomized polar localization of cell-fate proteins. In this article, we discuss the significance of these findings and the possible mechanisms by which an actin-like cytoskeleton could mediate cell polarity in bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-536
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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