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Clustering and dynamics of cytochrome bd-I complexes in the Escherichia coli plasma membrane in vivo

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Publication details

JournalMolecular Microbiology
DateE-pub ahead of print - 9 Oct 2008
DatePublished (current) - Dec 2008
Issue number6
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)1397-1407
Early online date9/10/08
Original languageEnglish


The cytochrome bd-I complex of Escherichia coli is a respiratory terminal oxidase and an integral component of the cytoplasmic membrane. As with other respiratory components, the organization and dynamics of this complex in living membranes is unknown. We set out to visualize the distribution and dynamics of this complex in vivo. By exchanging cydB for cydB-gfpgcn4 on the E. coli chromosome, we produced a strain (YTL01) that expresses functional GFP-tagged cytochrome bd-I terminal oxidase complexes under wild-type genetic control. We imaged live YTL01 cells using video-rate epifluorescence and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy in combination with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and saw mobile spots of GFP fluorescence in plasma membranes. Numbers of GFP molecules per spot were quantified by step-wise photobleaching giving a broad distribution with a mean of approximately 76, indicating that cytochrome bd-I is concentrated in mobile patches in the E. coli plasma membrane. We hypothesize that respiration occurs in mobile membrane patches which we call 'respirazones'.

    Research areas

  • Cell Membrane, Cytochromes, Electron Transport Chain Complex Proteins, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Proteins, Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Oxidoreductases

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