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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005 Apr;8(2):135-42.

Role of membrane lipids in bacterial division-site selection.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas-Houston, Medical School, 6431 Fannin St, Suite 6.200, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Heterogeneous distribution of specific phospholipids along the bacterial membrane results in the formation of domains enriched in anionic phospholipids at the cell poles and cell center, which appear to participate in the binding of amphitropic proteins responsible for selection and recognition of the division site. It was discovered that functioning of the Min system, which protects the cell poles from aberrant positioning of the Z-ring, is controlled by direct interaction of its MinD component with membrane phospholipids. There is also an accumulation of evidence that the mid-cell domain, formed in the cell at a defined step of the cell cycle, provides the optimal phospholipid composition first for initiation of DNA replication and then for Z-ring positioning.

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