Control of septum thickness by the curvature of SepF polymers
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

Gram-positive bacteria divide by forming a thick cross wall. How the thickness of this septal wall is controlled is unknown. In this type of bacteria, the key cell division protein FtsZ is anchored to the cell membrane by two proteins, FtsA and/or SepF. We have isolated SepF homologs from different bacterial species and found that they all polymerize into large protein rings with diameters varying from 19 to 44 nm. Interestingly, these values correlated well with the thickness of their septa. To test whether ring diameter determines septal thickness, we tried to construct different SepF chimeras with the purpose to manipulate the diameter of the SepF protein ring. This was indeed possible and confirmed that the conserved core domain of SepF regulates ring diameter. Importantly, when SepF chimeras with different diameters were expressed in the bacterial host Bacillus subtilis, the thickness of its septa changed accordingly. These results strongly support a model in which septal thickness is controlled by curved molecular clamps formed by SepF polymers attached to the leading edge of nascent septa. This also implies that the intrinsic shape of a protein polymer can function as a mold to shape the cell wall.



cell division

Bacillus subtilis


Michaela Wenzel

Universiteit Van Amsterdam

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Kemisk biologi

Ilkay N. Celik Gulsoy

Universiteit Van Amsterdam

Yongqiang Gao

Harvard Medical School

Universiteit Van Amsterdam

Zihao Teng

Universiteit Van Amsterdam

Joost Willemse

Universiteit Leiden

Martijn Middelkamp

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Mariska G. M. van Rosmalen

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Per W. B. Larsen

Universiteit Van Amsterdam

Nicole N. van der Wel

Universiteit Van Amsterdam

Gijs J. L. Wuite

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Wouter H. Roos

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Leendert W. Hamoen

Universiteit Van Amsterdam

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

0027-8424 (ISSN) 1091-6490 (eISSN)

Vol. 118 2 e2002635118


Biokemi och molekylärbiologi


Medicinsk bioteknologi (med inriktning mot cellbiologi (inklusive stamcellsbiologi), molekylärbiologi, mikrobiologi, biokemi eller biofarmaci)





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