Protein-based organelles in bacteria: carboxysomes and related microcompartments

  title={Protein-based organelles in bacteria: carboxysomes and related microcompartments},
  author={Todd O. Yeates and Cheryl A. Kerfeld and Sabine Heinhorst and Gordon C. Cannon and Jessup M. Shively},
  journal={Nature Reviews Microbiology},
Many bacteria contain intracellular microcompartments with outer shells that are composed of thousands of protein subunits and interiors that are filled with functionally related enzymes. These microcompartments serve as organelles by sequestering specific metabolic pathways in bacterial cells. The carboxysome, a prototypical bacterial microcompartment that is found in cyanobacteria and some chemoautotrophs, encapsulates ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) and carbonic… 

Bacterial microcompartment organelles: protein shell structure and evolution.

Current structural, evolutionary, and mechanistic ideas are discussed, along with genomic studies for exploring the function and diversity of this family of bacterial organelles.

The Carboxysome and Other Bacterial Microcompartments

Genetic modules encoding BMC shell proteins and the enzymes that they encapsulate are horizontally transferable, suggesting they enable bacteria to adapt to diverse environments.

Diverse Bacterial Microcompartment Organelles

The growing understanding of MCPs is providing a basis for bioengineering of protein-based containers for the production of chemicals/pharmaceuticals and for use as molecular delivery vehicles.

Bacterial microcompartments

This Review focuses on recent insights into the structure, assembly, diversity and function of BMCs.

Self-Assembly, Organisation, Regulation, and Engineering of Carboxysomes: CO2-Fixing Prokaryotic Organelles

This chapter will summarise recent advances in understanding the composition, biogenesis, structural and functional regulation of carboxysomes, as well as synthetic engineering of car boxysomes.

Carboxysomes: cyanobacterial RubisCO comes in small packages

Recent advances in understanding the organization and functioning of carboxysomes are summarized, which seem to function by allowing ready passage of HCO3− into the body, but hindering the escape of evolved CO2, promoting the accumulation of CO2 in the vicinity of RubisCO and, consequently, efficient carbon fixation.

Clues to the function of bacterial microcompartments from ancillary genes.

The known BMC regulation mechanisms are summarized, how much remains to be uncovered is highlighted, and it is proposed that nucleotides are the likely substrate for an enigmatic uncharacterized BMC of unknown function.



Carboxysomes and Carboxysome-like Inclusions

The current state of knowledge regarding structure, function and genetics of carboxysomes and related polyhedralmicrocompartments is summarized.

Protein Structures Forming the Shell of Primitive Bacterial Organelles

Three-dimensional crystal structures of multiple carboxysome shell proteins are reported, revealing a hexameric unit as the basic microcompartment building block and showing how these hexamers assemble to form flat facets of the polyhedral shell.

Microcompartments in Prokaryotes: Carboxysomes and Related Polyhedra

This review evaluates the evidence that relates carboxysome structure to function in the carbon metabolism of autotrophic prokaryotes and examines similarities to newly discovered particles found in heterotrophs.

Atomic-Level Models of the Bacterial Carboxysome Shell

Two proteins of previously unknown function assemble to form pentameric structures whose size and shape are compatible with formation of vertices in an icosahedral shell, and combining these pentamers with the hexamers previously elucidated gives two plausible, preliminary atomic models for the carboxysome shell.

A Novel Evolutionary Lineage of Carbonic Anhydrase (ε Class) Is a Component of the Carboxysome Shell

It is reported that the carboxysomal shell protein, CsoS3, from Halothiobacillus neapolitanus is a novel carbonic anhydrase (epsilon-class CA) that has an evolutionary lineage distinct from those previously recognized in animals, plants, and other prokaryotes.

Carboxysomes and ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase.

  • G. Codd
  • Biology
    Advances in microbial physiology
  • 1988

The carboxysome, a prokaryotic organelle: a mini-review

The structure, composition, and function of carboxysomes are studied with great interest and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) is demonstrated to be associated with these prokaryotic inclusions.


1. Polyhedral bodies are present in several groups of autotrophic bacteria that assimilate inorganic carbon via the Calvin cycle, including members of the colourless sulphur‐ oxidizing bacteria,

Polyhedral organelles compartmenting bacterial metabolic processes

  • T. Bobik
  • Biology
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • 2005
The unusual structure of polyhedral organelles raises intriguing questions about their assembly, turnover, and molecular evolution, very little of which is understood.