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Characterization of the ftsZ gene from Mycoplasma pulmonis, an organism lacking a cell wall.

Wang X., Lutkenhaus J.

The ftsZ gene is required for cell division in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. In these organisms, FtsZ is located in a ring at the leading edge of the septum. This ring is thought to be responsible for invagination of the septum, either causing invagination of the cytoplasmic membrane or activating septum-specific peptidoglycan biosynthesis. In this paper, we report that the cell division gene ftsZ is present in two mycoplasma species, Mycoplasma pulmonis and Acholeplasma laidlawii, which are eubacterial organisms lacking a cell wall. Sequencing of the ftsZ homolog from M. pulmonis revealed that it was highly homologous to other known FtsZ proteins. The M. pulmonis ftsZ gene was overexpressed, and the purified M. pulmonis FtsZ bound GTP. Using antisera raised against this purified protein, we could demonstrate that it was expressed in M. pulmonis. Expression of the M. pulmonis ftsZ gene in E. coli inhibited cell division, leading to filamentation, which could be suppressed by increasing expression of the E. coli ftsZ gene. The implications of these results for the role of ftsZ in cell division are discussed.

J. Bacteriol. 178:2314-2319(1996) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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