Cell shape-independent FtsZ dynamics in synthetically remodeled bacterial cells.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nature communications, 2018, 9, (1), pp. 4323
Issue Date:
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FtsZ is the main regulator of bacterial cell division. It has been implicated in acting as a scaffolding protein for other division proteins, a force generator during constriction, and more recently, as an active regulator of septal cell wall production. FtsZ assembles into a heterogeneous structure coined the Z-ring due to its resemblance to a ring confined by the midcell geometry. Here, to establish a framework for examining geometrical influences on proper Z-ring assembly and dynamics, we sculpted Escherichia coli cells into unnatural shapes using division- and cell wall-specific inhibitors in a micro-fabrication scheme. This approach allowed us to examine FtsZ behavior in engineered Z-squares and Z-hearts. We use stimulated emission depletion (STED) nanoscopy to show that FtsZ clusters in sculpted cells maintain the same dimensions as their wild-type counterparts. Based on our results, we propose that the underlying membrane geometry is not a deciding factor for FtsZ cluster maintenance and dynamics in vivo.
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