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Cell. 2007 Jul 27;130(2):335-47.

A metabolic sensor governing cell size in bacteria.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.

Abstract

Nutrient availability is one of the strongest determinants of cell size. When grown in rich media, single-celled organisms such as yeast and bacteria can be up to twice the size of their slow-growing counterparts. The ability to modulate size in a nutrient-dependent manner requires cells to: (1) detect when they have reached the appropriate mass for a given growth rate and (2) transmit this information to the division apparatus. We report the identification of a metabolic sensor that couples nutritional availability to division in Bacillus subtilis. A key component of this sensor is an effector, UgtP, which localizes to the division site in a nutrient-dependent manner and inhibits assembly of the tubulin-like cell division protein FtsZ. This sensor serves to maintain a constant ratio of FtsZ rings to cell length regardless of growth rate and ensures that cells reach the appropriate mass and complete chromosome segregation prior to cytokinesis.

PMID:
17662947
PMCID:
PMC1971218
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2007.05.043
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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