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FtsZ ring structure associated with division in Escherichia coli

Abstract

GENES for cell division have been identified in Escherichia coli by the isolation of conditional lethal mutations that block cell division, but do not affect DNA replication or segregation1. Of these genes, ftsZ is of great interest as it acts earliest in the division pathway2,3, is essential4, its level dictates the frequency of division5,6, and it is thought to be the target of two cell-division inhibitors7–9, SulA, produced in response to DNA damage10, and MinCD, which prevents division at old sites11. Here we have used immunoelectronmicroscopy to localize the FtsZ protein to the division site. The results suggest that FtsZ self-assembles into a ring structure at the future division site and may function as a cytoskeletal element. The formation of this ring may be the point at which division is regulated.

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Bi, E., Lutkenhaus, J. FtsZ ring structure associated with division in Escherichia coli. Nature 354, 161–164 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1038/354161a0

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