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3D model of the bacterial divisome by LifeExplorer

By September 12, 2010January 10th, 2015Uncategorized
This movie shows a 3D model of the cell-division machinery made with the LifeExplorer modelling software in collaboration with F.-X. Barre and N. Dubarry (Centre de Génétique Moléculaire, CNRS Gif, France).

During the division cyle of E. coli, at the end of the daughter chromosome segregation process, FtsZ proteins assembles into the Z ring on the inner face of the cytoplasmic membrane at the cell centre, marking the future division site. The Z ring then recruits at least ten membrane-associated proteins to assemble the cell-division protein machinery. This machinery synthesizes the division septum, which consists of cell-wall material between the two daughter celles, with the Z ring at the leading edge of membrane invagination. Contraction of the Z ring and constriction of the outer membrane follow.

The Z-ring before contraction containing about 2000 FtsZ proteins (800 nm diameter) is superimposed with the whole machinery close to the septum closure. FtsK monomers are attached to the Z-ring through a 200 nm linker not represented.

See for more information :

W. Margolin : FtsZ and the division of prokaryotic cells and organelles. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 6, 862-871 (November 2005).
S. Bigot, V. Sivanathan, C. Possoz F.-X. Barre and F. Cornet : FtsK, a literate chromosome segregation machine. Molecular Microbiology (2007) 64(6), 1434–1441