The C-terminal domain of MinC inhibits assembly of the Z ring in Escherichia coli.

Publication Date



J Bacteriol. 2007 January; 189(1): 236–243.


In Escherichia coli, the Min system, consisting of three proteins, MinC, MinD, and MinE, negatively regulates FtsZ assembly at the cell poles, helping to ensure that the Z ring will assemble only at midcell. Of the three Min proteins, MinC is sufficient to inhibit Z-ring assembly. By binding to MinD, which is mostly localized at the membrane near the cell poles, MinC is sequestered away from the cell midpoint, increasing the probability of Z-ring assembly there. Previously, it has been shown that the two halves of MinC have two distinct functions. The N-terminal half is sufficient for inhibition of FtsZ assembly, whereas the C-terminal half of the protein is required for binding to MinD as well as to a component of the division septum. In this study, we discovered that overproduction of the C-terminal half of MinC (MinC(122-231)) could also inhibit cell division and that this inhibition was at the level of Z-ring disassembly and dependent on MinD. We also found that fusing green fluorescent protein to either the N-terminal end of MinC(122-231), the C terminus of full-length MinC, or the C terminus of MinC(122-231) perturbed MinC function, which may explain why cell division inhibition by MinC(122-231) was not detected previously. These results suggest that the C-terminal half of MinC has an additional function in the regulation of Z-ring assembly.


Adenosine Triphosphatases, Cell Division, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Proteins, Membrane Proteins, Protein Structure, Tertiary