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Annu Rev Biochem. 1997;66:93-116.

Bacterial cell division and the Z ring.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, and Immunology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66160, USA.

Abstract

Bacterial cell division occurs through the formation of an FtsZ ring (Z ring) at the site of division. The ring is composed of the tubulin-like FtsZ protein that has GTPase activity and the ability to polymerize in vitro. The Z ring is thought to function in vivo as a cytoskeletal element that is analogous to the contractile ring in many eukaryotic cells. Evidence suggests that the Z ring is utilized by all prokaryotic organisms for division and may also be used by some eukaryotic organelles. This review summarizes our present knowledge about the formation, function, and evolution of the Z ring in prokaryotic cell division.

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