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Mol Microbiol. 1999 Jan;31(2):725-37.

Localization of FtsL to the Escherichia coli septal ring.

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  • 1Unité de Physiologie Cellulaire Institut Pasteur (CNRS URA 1300), Paris, France.


In Escherichia coli, nine gene products are known to be essential for assembly of the division septum. One of these, FtsL, is a bitopic membrane protein whose precise function is not understood. Here we use fluorescence microscopy to study the subcellular localization of FtsL, both in a wild-type strain and in a merodiploid strain that expresses a GFP-FtsL fusion protein. We show that FtsL localizes to the cell septum where it forms a ring analogous to the cytoplasmic FtsZ ring. FtsL localization is dependent upon the function of FtsZ, FtsA and FtsQ, but not FtsI. In a reverse approach, we use fusions of green fluorescent protein (GFP) to FtsZ, FtsA and ZipA to show that these proteins localize to the division site in an FtsL-independent fashion. We propose that FtsL is a relatively late recruit to the ring structure that mediates septation.

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