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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2011 Dec;14(6):691-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2011.09.011. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

New(s) to the (Z-)ring.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine, CMU, University of Geneva, Rue Michel-Servet 1, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


Cytokinesis in bacteria is mediated by a macromolecular machine known as the divisome, consisting of an assembly of FtsZ polymers around the cylindrical axis of the cell and the downstream regulators of division that are subsequently recruited to it. FtsZ polymerizes into filaments in a GTP-dependent manner, similarly to its eukaryotic structural homolog tubulin. The initial placement of the FtsZ polymerization site is tightly regulated by multiple mechanisms, as are the subsequent polymer reshaping and force generation that separate the two daughter cells from each other. New factors have been recently discovered that contribute to this regulation, notably affecting FtsZ polymer shaping, and modulating FtsZ polymerization in response to the metabolic or redox state of the cell.

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