What is the Function of Mesosome in Prokaryotic Cell

The function of mesosomes in prokaryotic cells has been a subject of scientific investigation and debate for many years. Mesosomes are intricate structures that appear as extensions of the plasma membrane in various bacterial species. While their precise functions are not fully understood, several proposed roles have emerged based on studies and observations conducted thus far. Understanding the function of mesosomes is crucial for comprehending the complexities of prokaryotic cellular dynamics. In this article, we will explore what mesosomes are and discuss some of the proposed functions they may serve in prokaryotic cells.

Key Areas Covered

1. What are Mesosomes
    – Definition, Features
2. What is the Function of Mesosome in Prokaryotic Cell
     – A List of Functions

Key Terms

Mesosomes, Prokaryotic Cell

What is the Function of Mesosome in Prokaryotic Cell

What are Mesosomes

Mesosomes are folded invaginations or extensions of the plasma membrane in prokaryotic cells. These structures are not present in all types of bacteria but have been observed in various species. Mesosomes can take different shapes, such as tubular or vesicular forms. They are dynamic structures that can change over time.

What is the Function of Mesosome in Prokaryotic Cell

Cellular Compartmentalization and Organization

One of the primary proposed functions of mesosomes is their role in cellular compartmentalization and organization. Mesosomes provide an additional surface area within the cell, creating compartments that allow for the spatial segregation of various cellular components. By organizing enzymes involved in metabolic pathways, electron transport, and oxidative phosphorylation, mesosomes optimize cellular efficiency by localizing specific enzymes and facilitating metabolic reactions in close proximity. This compartmentalization enhances the coordination and efficiency of cellular processes, ensuring that metabolic reactions occur in an organized and controlled manner.

Cell Division and DNA Replication

Mesosomes have also been implicated in DNA replication and cell division processes in prokaryotes. They are believed to play a role in the formation of the septum during cell division by aiding in the invagination of the plasma membrane. Mesosomes help ensure the proper distribution of genetic material during cell division and provide an anchoring point for the septal ring, which initiates cell constriction. By participating in cell division processes, mesosomes contribute to the maintenance of genetic integrity and proper cell division, ensuring that the resulting daughter cells inherit the correct genetic material.

Function of Mesosome in Prokaryotic Cell

Respiratory Processes

Respiratory processes are closely associated with mesosomes in prokaryotic cells. Mesosomes provide an increased surface area for the attachment of respiratory enzymes, such as cytochromes and ATP synthase. This organization facilitates efficient ATP synthesis and respiratory electron transport, leading to enhanced energy production in the cell. The proximity of respiratory enzymes within mesosomes ensures optimal functioning and coordination of respiratory processes, contributing to the cell’s overall metabolic activity and vitality.

Protein Secretion and Localization

Another proposed function of mesosomes is their involvement in protein secretion and localization. Mesosomes have been observed to contain ribosomes, which are responsible for protein synthesis. This suggests that mesosomes may play a role in the transport of newly synthesized proteins, facilitating their localization to specific cellular compartments or external secretion. By properly targeting and distributing proteins within the cell, mesosomes contribute to the functioning and organization of cellular processes. This ensures that proteins reach their intended destinations and perform their designated functions.

Cell Wall Synthesis

Recent studies have also suggested a potential role for mesosomes in cell wall synthesis in certain bacterial species. It has been proposed that mesosomes participate in the transport and deposition of peptidoglycan, a crucial component of the bacterial cell wall. By actively contributing to cell wall formation, mesosomes play a role in maintaining cell shape, integrity, and protection against environmental stresses. 


In conclusion, mesosomes in prokaryotic cells serve as multifunctional structures involved in various aspects of cellular dynamics. They contribute to cellular compartmentalization, DNA replication, cell division, respiratory processes, protein secretion, and potentially cell wall synthesis. Further research using advanced imaging techniques, molecular studies, comparative analyses, and synthetic biology approaches is necessary to unravel the intricacies of mesosomes and expand our knowledge of their functional significance in prokaryotic cells. By elucidating the functions of mesosomes, we can gain valuable insights into the fundamental principles of cellular organization and pave the way for potential applications in various fields.


1. “Mesosome.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.

Image Courtesy:

1. “OSC Microbio 03 03 ProkCell” By CNX OpenStax(CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasini A

Hasini is a graduate of Applied Science with a strong background in forestry, environmental science, chemistry, and management science. She is an amateur photographer with a keen interest in exploring the wonders of nature and science.

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