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New temperature-sensitive alleles of ftsZ in Escherichia coli

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stephen Addinall


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We isolated five new temperature-sensitive alleles of the essential cell division gene ftsZ in Escherichia coli, using P1-mediated, localized mutagenesis. The five resulting single amino acid changes (Gly109-->Ser109 for ftsZ6460, Ala129-->Thr129 for ftsZ972, Val157-->Met157 for ftsZ2066, Pro203-->Leu203 for ftsZ9124, and Ala239-->Val239 for ftsZ2863) are distributed throughout the FtsZ core region, and all confer a lethal cell division block at the nonpermissive temperature of 42 degrees C. In each case the division block is associated with loss of Z-ring formation such that fewer than 2% of cells show Z rings at 42 degrees C. The ftsZ9124 and ftsZ6460 mutations are of particular interest since both result in abnormal Z-ring formation at 30 degrees C and therefore cause significant defects in FtsZ polymerization, even at the permissive temperature. Neither purified FtsZ9124 nor purified FtsZ6460 exhibited polymerization when it was assayed by light scattering or electron microscopy, even in the presence of calcium or DEAE-dextran. Hence, both mutations also cause defects in FtsZ polymerization in vitro. Interestingly, FtsZ9124 has detectable GTPase activity, although the activity is significantly reduced compared to that of the wild-type FtsZ protein. We demonstrate here that unlike expression of ftsZ84, multicopy expression of the ftsZ6460, ftsZ972, and ftsZ9124 alleles does not complement the respective lethalities at the nonpermissive temperature. In addition, all five new mutant FtsZ proteins are stable at 42 degrees C. Therefore, the novel isolates carrying single ftsZ(Ts) point mutations, which are the only such strains obtained since isolation of the classical ftsZ84 mutation, offer significant opportunities for further genetic characterization of FtsZ and its role in cell division.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Addinall SG, Small E, Whitaker D, Sturrock S, Donachie WD, Khattar MM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Bacteriology

Year: 2005

Volume: 187

Issue: 1

Pages: 358-365

ISSN (print): 0021-9193

ISSN (electronic): 1098-5530

Publisher: American Society for Microbiology


DOI: 10.1128/JB.187.1.358-365.2005

Notes: Addinall, Stephen G Small, Elaine Whitaker, Duncan Sturrock, Shane Donachie, William D Khattar, Medhat M Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't United States Journal of bacteriology J Bacteriol. 2005 Jan;187(1):358-65.


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