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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Sep;7(9):642-53. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2198.

Bacterial cell division: assembly, maintenance and disassembly of the Z ring.

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Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK.


Bacterial cell division is orchestrated by a tubulin homologue, FtsZ, which polymerizes to form a ring-like structure that is both a scaffold for the assembly of the bacterial cytokinetic machinery and, at least in part, a source of the energy for constriction. FtsZ assembly is tightly regulated, and a diverse repertoire of accessory proteins contributes to the formation of a functional division machine that is responsive to cell cycle status and environmental stress. In this Review, we describe the interaction of these proteins with FtsZ and discuss recent advances in our understanding of Z ring assembly.

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