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J Bacteriol. 2018 Jun 11;200(13). pii: e00046-18. doi: 10.1128/JB.00046-18. Print 2018 Jul 1.

YtfB, an OapA Domain-Containing Protein, Is a New Cell Division Protein in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.


While screening the Pfam database for novel peptidoglycan (PG) binding modules, we identified the OapA domain, which is annotated as a LysM-like domain. LysM domains bind PG and mediate localization to the septal ring. In the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, an OapA domain is present in YtfB, an inner membrane protein of unknown function but whose overproduction causes cells to filament. Together, these observations suggested that YtfB directly affects cell division, most likely through its OapA domain. Here, we show that YtfB accumulates at the septal ring and that its action requires the division-initiating protein FtsZ and, to a lesser extent, ZipA, an early recruit to the septalsome. While the loss of YtfB had no discernible impact, a mutant lacking both YtfB and DedD (a known cell division protein) grew as filamentous cells. The YtfB OapA domain by itself also localized to sites of division, and this localization was enhanced by the presence of denuded PGs. Finally, the OapA domain bound PG, though binding did not depend on the formation of denuded glycans. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that YtfB is a cell division protein whose function is related to cell wall hydrolases.IMPORTANCE All living cells must divide in order to thrive. In bacteria, this involves the coordinated activities of a large number of proteins that work in concert to constrict the cell. Knowing which proteins contribute to this process and how they function is fundamental. Here, we identify a new member of the cell division apparatus in the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli whose function is related to the generation of a transient cell wall structure. These findings deepen our understanding of bacterial cell division.


OapA domain; bacterial morphology; cell division; peptidoglycan; septal ring

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