Publication Date



Journal of Bacteriology


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



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