Evidence that Listeria innocua modulates its membrane’s stored curvature elastic stress, but not fluidity, through the cell cycle
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This paper reports that the abundances of endogenous cardiolipin and phosphatidylethanolamine halve during elongation of the Gram-positive bacterium Listeria innocua. The lyotropic phase behaviour of model lipid systems that describe these modulations in lipid composition indicate that the average stored curvature elastic stress of the membrane is reduced on elongation of the cell, while the fluidity appears to be maintained. These findings suggest that phospholipid metabolism is linked to the cell cycle and that changes in membrane composition can facilitate passage to the succeding stage of the cell cycle. This therefore suggests a means by which bacteria can manage the physical properties of their membranes through the cell cycle.
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