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Zielinska, Aleksandra; Savietto, Abigail; Borges, Anabela de Sousa; Martinez, Denis; Berbon, Melanie; Roelofsen, Joel R.; Hartman, Alwin M.; Boer, Rinse de; Klei, Ida J. van der; Hirsch, Anna K. H.; Habenstein, Birgit; Bramkamp, Marc; Scheffers, Dirk-Jan (2020): Flotillin-mediated membrane fluidity controls peptidoglycan synthesis and MreB movement. In: eLife, Vol. 9, e57179
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The bacterial plasma membrane is an important cellular compartment. In recent years it has become obvious that protein complexes and lipids are not uniformly distributed within membranes. Current hypotheses suggest that flotillin proteins are required for the formation of complexes of membrane proteins including cell-wall synthetic proteins. We show here that bacterial flotillins are important factors for membrane fluidity homeostasis. Loss of flotillins leads to a decrease in membrane fluidity that in turn leads to alterations in MreB dynamics and, as a consequence, in peptidoglycan synthesis. These alterations are reverted when membrane fluidity is restored by a chemical fluidizer. In vitro, the addition of a flotillin increases membrane fluidity of liposomes. Our data support a model in which flotillins are required for direct control of membrane fluidity rather than for the formation of protein complexes via direct protein-protein interactions.