Bacterial cell division: the mechanism and its precision

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International Review of Cytology: A Survey of Cell biology Volume 253, 2006, 1, pp. 27 - 94
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The recent devlopment of cell biolofy technques for bacteria to allow visualisation of fundamental processes in time and space, and their use in synchronous populations of cells, has resulted in a dramatic increase in our understanding of cell division and it regulation in these tiny cells. The first stage of cell division is the formation of a Z ring, composed of apolymerised tubulin-like protein, FtZ,at the division site precisely at midcell. Several membrane-associated division proteins are then recruited to this ring to forma complex, the divisome, which causes invagination of the cell envelope layers to form a division septum. The z Ring marks the future division site, and the timing of assembly and positioning of this structure are important in determining where and when division will take place in the cell. Z ring assembly is controlled bnu many factors including negative regulatory mechanisms such as Min and nucleoid occlusion that influence Z ring positioning and FtZ accessory proteins that bind to FtZ directly and modulate its polymerisation behaviour. The replication status of the cell also influences the positionin of the Z ring,w hich may allow the tight coordination between DNA replication and cell division required toproduce two identical newborn cells.
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