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Mol Microbiol. 2000 Apr;36(2):278-89.

Intrinsic instability of the essential cell division protein FtsL of Bacillus subtilis and a role for DivIB protein in FtsL turnover.

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Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK.


Cell division in most eubacteria is driven by an assembly of about eight conserved division proteins. These proteins form a ring structure that constricts in parallel with the formation of the division septum. Here, we show that one of the division proteins, FtsL, is highly unstable. We also show that the protein is targeted to the ring structure and that targeting occurs in concert with the recruitment of several other membrane-associated division proteins. FtsL stability is further reduced in the absence of DivIB protein (probably homologous to E. coli FtsQ) at high temperature, suggesting that DivIB is involved in the control of FtsL turnover. The reduced stability of FtsL may explain the temperature dependence of divIB mutants, because their phenotype can be suppressed by overexpression of FtsL. The results provide new insights into the roles of the FtsL and DivIB proteins in bacterial cell division.

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