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Nat Commun. 2014 Apr 8;5:3578. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4578.

Cell wall precursors are required to organize the chlamydial division septum.

Author information

Institute of Microbiology, University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Institute of Genetics & Genomics in Geneva (iGE3), Department of Microbiology & Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine / CMU, University of Geneva, 1211 Genève 4, Switzerland.

Erratum in

  • Nat Commun. 2014;5:4609. Viollier, Patrick [corrected to Viollier, Patrick H].


Members of the Chlamydiales order are major bacterial pathogens that divide at mid-cell, without a sequence homologue of the FtsZ cytokinetic tubulin and without a classical peptidoglycan cell wall. Moreover, the spatiotemporal mechanisms directing constriction in Chlamydia are not known. Here we show that the MreB actin homologue and its conserved regulator RodZ localize to the division furrow in Waddlia chondrophila, a member of the Chlamydiales order implicated in human miscarriage. RodZ is recruited to the septal site earlier than MreB and in a manner that depends on biosynthesis of the peptidoglycan precursor lipid II by the MurA enzyme. By contrast, crosslinking of lipid II peptides by the Pbp3 transpeptidase disperses RodZ from the septum. Altogether, these findings provide a cytological framework for understanding chlamydial cytokinesis driven by septal cell wall synthesis.

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