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Int Rev Cytol. 2006;253:27-94.

Bacterial cell division: the mechanism and its precison.

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Institute for the Biotechnology of Infectious Diseases, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia.


The recent development of cell biology techniques for bacteria to allow visualization of fundamental processes in time and space, and their use in synchronous populations of cells, has resulted in a dramatic increase in our understanding of cell division and its regulation in these tiny cells. The first stage of cell division is the formation of a Z ring, composed of a polymerized tubulin-like protein, FtsZ, at the division site precisely at midcell. Several membrane-associated division proteins are then recruited to this ring to form a complex, the divisome, which causes invagination of the cell envelope layers to form a division septum. The Z ring marks the future division site, and the timing of assembly and positioning of this structure are important in determining where and when division will take place in the cell. Z ring assembly is controlled by many factors including negative regulatory mechanisms such as Min and nucleoid occlusion that influence Z ring positioning and FtsZ accessory proteins that bind to FtsZ directly and modulate its polymerization behavior. The replication status of the cell also influences the positioning of the Z ring, which may allow the tight coordination between DNA replication and cell division required to produce two identical newborn cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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