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Cyanobacterial Septal Junctions: Properties and Regulation

1
Instituto de Bioquímica Vegetal y Fotosíntesis, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Universidad de Sevilla, Américo Vespucio 49, 41092 Seville, Spain
2
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 16 December 2018 / Published: 20 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Biology in Cyanobacteria)
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Abstract

Heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria are multicellular organisms that grow as chains of cells (filaments or trichomes) in which the cells exchange regulators and nutrients. In this article, we review the morphological, physiological and genetic data that have led to our current understanding of intercellular communication in these organisms. Intercellular molecular exchange appears to take place by simple diffusion through proteinaceous structures, known as septal junctions, which connect the adjacent cells in the filament and traverse the septal peptidoglycan through perforations known as nanopores. Proteins that are necessary to produce, and that may be components of, the septal junctions―SepJ, FraC and FraD―have been identified in the heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 model. Additionally, several proteins that are necessary to produce a normal number of nanopores and functional septal junctions have been identified, including AmiC-type amidases, peptidoglycan-binding proteins and some membrane transporters. Available reports and reevaluation of intercellular molecular transfer data for some mutants of Anabaena suggest that the septal junctions can be regulated, likely by a mechanism of gating. View Full-Text
Keywords: Anabaena; bacterial multicellularity; intercellular communication Anabaena; bacterial multicellularity; intercellular communication
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Flores, E.; Nieves-Morión, M.; Mullineaux, C.W. Cyanobacterial Septal Junctions: Properties and Regulation. Life 2019, 9, 1.

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