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Membrane potential is important for bacterial cell division

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Henrik Strahl von SchultenORCiD, Dr Leendert Hamoen


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Many cell division-related proteins are located at specific positions in the bacterial cell, and this organized distribution of proteins requires energy. Here, we report that the proton motive force, or morespecifically the (trans)membrane potential, is directly involved in protein localization. It emerged that the membrane potential modulates the distribution of several conserved cell division proteins such as MinD, FtsA, and the bacterial cytoskeletal protein MreB. We show for MinD that this is based on the membrane potential stimulated binding of its C-terminal amphipathic helix. This function of the membrane potential has implications for how these morphogenetic proteins work and provide an explanation for the effects observed with certain antimicrobial compounds.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Strahl H, Hamoen LW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Year: 2010

Volume: 107

Issue: 27

Pages: 12281-12286

Print publication date: 21/06/2010

ISSN (print): 0027-8424

ISSN (electronic): 1091-6490

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences


DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1005485107


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