Bacterial microcompartments moving into a synthetic biological world

J Biotechnol. 2013 Jan 20;163(2):273-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Sep 12.


Bacterial microcompartments are proteinaceous organelles that are found in a broad range of bacteria. They are composed of an outer protein shell that encases a specific metabolic process. Examples include the carboxysome, which houses enzymes associated with carbon fixation, and the propanediol metabolosome, which contains enzymes linked with the catabolism of propanediol to propionic acid. In this article the molecular structure of bacterial microcompartments is examined and the potential to engineer these intriguing organelles for biotechnological applications is explored.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacteria / ultrastructure*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Structures / metabolism
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods*
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Organelles / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins