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

Overproduction of FtsZ suppresses sensitivity of lon mutants to division inhibition.

Escherichia coli lon mutants are sensitive to UV light and other DNA-damaging agents. This sensitivity is due to the loss of the lon-encoded ATP-dependent proteolytic activity which results in increased stability of the cell division inhibitor SulA. Introduction of the multicopy plasmid pZAQ containing the ftsZ gene, which is known to increase the level of FtsZ, suppressed the sensitivity of lon mutants to the DNA-damaging agents UV and nitrofurantoin. Alterations of pZAQ which reduced the expression of ftsZ reduced the ability of this plasmid to suppress the UV sensitivity. Examination of the kinetics of cell division revealed that pZAQ did not suppress the transient filamentation seen after exposure to UV, but did suppress the long-term inhibition that is normally observed. lon strains carrying pZAQ could stably maintain a multicopy plasmid carrying sulA (pBS2), which cannot otherwise be introduced into lon mutants. In addition, the increased temperature sensitivity of lexA(Ts) strains containing pBS2 was suppressed by pZAQ. These results suggest that SulA inhibits cell division by inhibiting FtsZ and that this interaction is stoichiometric.[1]


  1. Overproduction of FtsZ suppresses sensitivity of lon mutants to division inhibition. Lutkenhaus, J., Sanjanwala, B., Lowe, M. J. Bacteriol. (1986) [Pubmed]
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