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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2010 Mar;81(3 Pt 1):031922. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

Constricting force of filamentary protein rings evaluated from experimental results.

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Departamento de Física Teórica de la Materia Condensada, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, E-28049 Madrid, Spain.


We present a model of Z -ring constriction in bacteria based on different experimental in vitro results. The forces produced by the Z ring due to lateral attraction of its constituent parts, estimated in previous studies that were based on FtsZ filaments observed by atomic force microscopy, are in good agreement with an estimation of the force required for recently found deformations in liposomes caused by FtsZ. These forces are calculated within the usual Helfrich energy formalism. In this context, we also explain the apparent attraction of multiple Z rings in the liposomes initially separated by small distances, as well as the stable distribution of rings separated by distances greater than approximately twice the diameter of the cylindrical liposomes. We adapted the model to the in vivo conditions imposed by the bacterial cell wall, concluding that the proposed mechanism gives a qualitative explanation for the force generation during bacterial division.

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