Dense intracellular ion pools in unicellular organisms

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Uptake and concentration of inorganic ions are part of the complex cellular processes required for cell homeostasis, as well as for mineral formation by organisms. These ion transport mechanisms include distinct cellular compartments and chemical phases that play various roles in the physiology of organisms. Here, the prominent cases of dense ion pools in unicellular organisms are briefly reviewed. The specific observations that were reported for different organisms are consolidated into a wide perspective that emphasizes general traits. It is suggested that the intracellular ion pools can be divided into three types: a high cytoplasmic concentration, a labile storage compartment that hosts dense ion-rich phases, and a mineral-forming compartment in which a stable long-lived structure is formed. Recently, many labile pools were identified in various organisms using advanced techniques, bringing many new questions about their possible roles in the formation of the stable mineralized structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107807
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Issue number4
Early online date3 Nov 2021
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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