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Negative control of cell division by mreB, a gene that functions in determining the rod shape of Escherichia coli cells.

Wachi M., Matsuhashi M.

Exponentially growing Escherichia coli cells containing additional copies of the shape-determining gene mreB were found to be elongated, whereas mreB mutant cells were spherical and overproduced penicillin-binding protein 3, a septum peptidoglycan synthetase. The effect of the mreB gene on expression of ftsI, the structural gene for penicillin-binding protein 3, was examined by using an ftsI-lacZ fusion gene on a plasmid. Formation of beta-galactosidase from the fusion gene was significantly increased in mreB129 mutant cells, and its overproduction was suppressed to a normal level by the presence of a plasmid containing the mreB gene. These results indicate a negative mechanism of control of cell division by this morphology gene and suggest that the gene functions in determining whether division or elongation of the cells occurs.

J. Bacteriol. 171:3123-3127(1989) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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