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J Bacteriol. May 1994; 176(9): 2754–2758.
PMCID: PMC205420

Guanine nucleotide-dependent assembly of FtsZ into filaments.


FtsZ is an essential cell division protein that is localized to the leading edge of the bacterial septum in a cytokinetic ring. It contains the tubulin signature motif and is a GTP binding protein with a GTPase activity. Further comparison of FtsZ with eukaryotic tubulins revealed some additional sequence similarities, perhaps indicating a similar GTP binding site. Examination of FtsZ incubated in vitro by electron microscopy revealed a guanine nucleotide-dependent assembly into protein filaments, supporting the hypothesis that the FtsZ ring is formed through self-assembly. FtsZ3, which is unable to bind GTP, does not polymerize, whereas FtsZ2, which binds GTP but is deficient in GTP hydrolysis, is capable of polymerization.

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Selected References

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