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Annu Rev Biochem. 2007;76:539-62.

Assembly dynamics of the bacterial MinCDE system and spatial regulation of the Z ring.

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Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics and Immunology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66160, USA.


The positioning of a cytoskeletal element that dictates the division plane is a fundamental problem in biology. The assembly and positioning of this cytoskeletal element has to be coordinated with DNA segregation and cell growth to ensure that equal-sized progeny cells are produced, each with a copy of the chromosome. In most prokaryotes, cytokinesis involves positioning a Z ring assembled from FtsZ, the ancestral homologue of tubulin. The position of the Z ring is determined by a gradient of negative regulators of Z-ring assembly. In Escherichia coli, the Min system consists of three proteins that cooperate to position the Z ring through a fascinating oscillation, which inhibits the formation of the Z ring away from midcell. Additional gradients of negative regulators of FtsZ assembly are used by E. coli and other bacteria to achieve spatial control of Z-ring assembly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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