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Simulations of Proposed Mechanisms of FtsZ-Driven Cell Constriction

Nguyen, Lam T. and Oikonomou, Catherine M. and Jensen, Grant J. (2021) Simulations of Proposed Mechanisms of FtsZ-Driven Cell Constriction. Journal of Bacteriology, 203 (3). Art. No. e00576-20. ISSN 0021-9193. PMCID PMC7886793.

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To divide, bacteria must constrict their membranes against significant force from turgor pressure. A tubulin homolog, FtsZ, is thought to drive constriction, but how FtsZ filaments might generate constrictive force in the absence of motor proteins is not well understood. There are two predominant models in the field. In one, FtsZ filaments overlap to form complete rings around the circumference of the cell, and attractive forces cause filaments to slide past each other to maximize lateral contact. In the other, filaments exert force on the membrane by a GTP-hydrolysis-induced switch in conformation from straight to bent. Here, we developed software, ZCONSTRICT, for quantitative three-dimensional (3D) simulations of Gram-negative bacterial cell division to test these two models and identify critical conditions required for them to work. We find that the avidity of any kind of lateral interactions quickly halts the sliding of filaments, so a mechanism such as depolymerization or treadmilling is required to sustain constriction by filament sliding. For filament bending, we find that a mechanism such as the presence of a rigid linker is required to constrain bending to within the division plane and maintain the distance observed in vivo between the filaments and the membrane. Of these two models, only the filament bending model is consistent with our lab’s recent observation of constriction associated with a single, short FtsZ filament.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemCode CentralArticle Paper
Nguyen, Lam T.0000-0002-0756-0911
Oikonomou, Catherine M.0000-0003-2312-4746
Jensen, Grant J.0000-0003-1556-4864
Additional Information:© 2021 Nguyen et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Received 16 October 2020; Accepted 26 October 2020; Accepted manuscript posted online 16 November 2020; Published 11 January 2021. We thank Debnath Ghosal and Andrew Jewett for their helpful discussions and Jane Ding for help setting up simulations on clusters. This work was supported by the NIH (grant R35 GM122588 to G.J.J.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHR35 GM122588
Issue or Number:3
PubMed Central ID:PMC7886793
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190816-081257805
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Official Citation:Simulations of Proposed Mechanisms of FtsZ-Driven Cell Constriction Lam T. Nguyen, Catherine M. Oikonomou, Grant J. Jensen Journal of Bacteriology Jan 2021, 203 (3) e00576-20; DOI: 10.1128/JB.00576-20
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97936
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Aug 2019 16:40
Last Modified:03 Mar 2021 21:42

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