Bacterial Cell Division: The Mechanism and Its Precison

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2006, 253 pp. 27 - 94
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The recent development of cell biology techniques for bacteria to allow visualization 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 its regulation in these tiny cells. The first stage of cell division is the formation of a Z ring, composed of a polymerized tubulin-like protein, FtsZ, at the division site precisely at midcell. Several membrane-associated division proteins are then recruited to this ring to form a 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 by many factors including negative regulatory mechanisms such as Min and nucleoid occlusion that influence Z ring positioning and FtsZ accessory proteins that bind to FtsZ directly and modulate its polymerization behavior. The replication status of the cell also influences the positioning of the Z ring, which may allow the tight coordination between DNA replication and cell division required to produce two identical newborn cells. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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