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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2001 Dec;4(6):647-52.

Spatial regulation of cytokinesis in bacteria.

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  • Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Medical School, 6431 Fannin, Houston, TX 77030, USA. William.Margolin@uth.tmc.edu


Cytokinesis in bacteria such as Escherichia coli is orchestrated by FtsZ, a tubulin-like protein that forms a circumferential Z ring at the division site. The Z ring then recruits a number of other essential cell division proteins, ultimately assembling the cytokinetic machine that splits the cell. It has been known for some time that the MinCDE proteins and the bacterial nucleoid provide positional information to negatively regulate cytokinesis. Recently, direct visualization of Z rings and Min proteins in whole cells have contributed important new insights into the molecular mechanisms behind this fundamental cellular process. This review summarizes and integrates these insights.

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