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Mol Microbiol. 2006 Feb;59(3):989-99.

SepF, a novel FtsZ-interacting protein required for a late step in cell division.

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


Cell division in nearly all bacteria is initiated by polymerization of the conserved tubulin-like protein FtsZ into a ring-like structure at midcell. This Z-ring functions as a scaffold for a group of conserved proteins that execute the synthesis of the division septum (the divisome). Here we describe the identification of a new cell division protein in Bacillus subtilis. This protein is conserved in Gram positive bacteria, and because it has a role in septum development, we termed it SepF. sepF mutants are viable but have a cell division defect, in which septa are formed slowly and with a severely abnormal morphology. Yeast two-hybrid analysis showed that SepF can interact with itself and with FtsZ. Accordingly, fluorescence microscopy showed that SepF accumulates at the site of cell division, and this localization depends on the presence of FtsZ. Combination of mutations in sepF and ezrA, encoding another Z-ring interacting protein, had a synthetic lethal division effect. We conclude that SepF is a new member of the Gram positive divisome, required for proper execution of septum synthesis.

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