Visualization of membrane domains in Escherichia coli

Itzhak Fishov, Conrad L. Woldringh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Bacterial membrane and nucleoids were stained concurrently by the lipophilic styryl dye FM 4-64 [N-(9-triethylammoniumpropyl)-4-(6-(4-(diethylamino)phenyl) hexatrienyl)pyridinium dibromide] and 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), respectively, and studied using fluorescence microscopy imaging. Observation of plasmolysed cells indicated that FM 4-64 stained the inner membrane preferentially. In live Escherichia coli pbpB cells and filaments, prepared on wet agar slabs, an FM 4-64 staining pattern developed in the form of dark bands. In dividing cells, the bands occurred mainly at the constriction sites and, in filaments, between partitioning nucleoids. The FM 4-64 pattern of dark bands in filaments was abolished after inhibiting protein synthesis with chloramphenicol. It is proposed that the staining patterns reflect putative membrane domains formed by DNA-membrane interactions and have functional implications in cell division.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1166-1172
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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