Interaction between cell division proteins FtsE and FtsZ.

Publication Date



J Bacteriol. 2007 April; 189(8): 3026–3035.


FtsE and FtsX, which are widely conserved homologs of ABC transporters and interact with each other, have important but unknown functions in bacterial cell division. Coimmunoprecipitation of Escherichia coli cell extracts revealed that a functional FLAG-tagged version of FtsE, the putative ATP-binding component, interacts with FtsZ, the bacterial tubulin homolog required to assemble the cytokinetic Z ring and recruit the components of the divisome. This interaction is independent of FtsX, the predicted membrane component of the ABC transporter, which has been shown previously to interact with FtsE. The interaction also occurred independently of FtsA or ZipA, two other E. coli cell division proteins that interact with FtsZ. In addition, FtsZ copurified with FLAG-FtsE. Surprisingly, the conserved C-terminal tail of FtsZ, which interacts with other cell division proteins, such as FtsA and ZipA, was dispensable for interaction with FtsE. In support of a direct interaction with FtsZ, targeting of a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-FtsE fusion to Z rings required FtsZ, but not FtsA. Although GFP-FtsE failed to target Z rings in the absence of ZipA, its localization was restored in the presence of the ftsA* bypass suppressor, indicating that the requirement for ZipA is indirect. Coexpression of FLAG-FtsE and FtsX under certain conditions resulted in efficient formation of minicells, also consistent with an FtsE-FtsZ interaction and with the idea that FtsE and FtsX regulate the activity of the divisome.


ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters, Cell Division, Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Proteins, Immunoprecipitation, Protein Binding