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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Analysis of cell division gene ftsZ (sulB) from gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.

The ftsZ (sulB) gene of Escherichia coli codes for a 40,000-dalton protein that carries out a key step in the cell division pathway. The presence of an ftsZ gene protein in other bacterial species was examined by a combination of Southern blot and Western blot analyses. Southern blot analysis of genomic restriction digests revealed that many bacteria, including species from six members of the family Enterobacteriaceae and from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Agrobacterium tumefaciens, contained sequences which hybridized with an E. coli ftsZ probe. Genomic DNA from more distantly related bacteria, including Bacillus subtilis, Branhamella catarrhalis, Micrococcus luteus, and Staphylococcus aureus, did not hybridize under minimally stringent conditions. Western blot analysis, with anti-E. coli FtsZ antiserum, revealed that all bacterial species examined contained a major immunoreactive band. Several of the Enterobacteriaceae were transformed with a multicopy plasmid encoding the E. coli ftsZ gene. These transformed strains, Shigella sonnei, Salmonella typhimurium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Enterobacter aerogenes, were shown to overproduce the FtsZ protein and to produce minicells. Analysis of [35S]methionine-labeled minicells revealed that the plasmid-encoded gene products were the major labeled species. This demonstrated that the E. coli ftsZ gene could function in other bacterial species to induce minicells and that these minicells could be used to analyze plasmid-endoced gene products.[1]


  1. Analysis of cell division gene ftsZ (sulB) from gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Corton, J.C., Ward, J.E., Lutkenhaus, J. J. Bacteriol. (1987) [Pubmed]
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