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The bacterial plasma membrane is an important cellular compartment. In recent years it has become obvious that protein complexes and lipids are not uniformly distributed within membranes. Current hypotheses suggest that flotillin proteins are required for the formation of complexes of membrane proteins including cell-wall synthetic proteins. We show here that bacterial flotillins are important factors for membrane fluidity homeostasis. Loss of flotillins leads to a decrease in membrane fluidity that in turn leads to alterations in MreB dynamics and, as a consequence, in peptidoglycan synthesis. These alterations are reverted when membrane fluidity is restored by a chemical fluidizer. In vitro, the addition of a flotillin increases membrane fluidity of liposomes. Our data support a model in which flotillins are required for direct control of membrane fluidity rather than for the formation of protein complexes via direct protein-protein interactions. © 2020, Zielińska et al.


Aleksandra Zielińska, Abigail Savietto, Anabela de Sousa Borges, Denis Martinez, Melanie Berbon, Joël R Roelofsen, Alwin M Hartman, Rinse de Boer, Ida J Van der Klei, Anna Kh Hirsch, Birgit Habenstein, Marc Bramkamp, Dirk-Jan Scheffers. Flotillin-mediated membrane fluidity controls peptidoglycan synthesis and MreB movement. eLife. 2020 Jul 14;9

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PMID: 32662773

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