Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32242019
Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41467-020-15490-8
Nat Commun 2020 Apr; 11(1): 1641
The mechanisms of Z-ring assembly and regulation in bacteria are poorly understood, particularly in non-model organisms. Actinobacteria, a large bacterial phylum that includes the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, lack the canonical FtsZ-membrane anchors and Z-ring regulators described for E. coli. Here we investigate the physiological function of Corynebacterium glutamicum SepF, the only cell division-associated protein from Actinobacteria known to interact with the conserved C-terminal tail of FtsZ. We show an essential interdependence of FtsZ and SepF for formation of a functional Z-ring in C. glutamicum. The crystal structure of the SepF-FtsZ complex reveals a hydrophobic FtsZ-binding pocket, which defines the SepF homodimer as the functional unit, and suggests a reversible oligomerization interface. FtsZ filaments and lipid membranes have opposing effects on SepF polymerization, indicating that SepF has multiple roles at the cell division site, involving FtsZ bundling, Z-ring tethering and membrane reshaping activities that are needed for proper Z-ring assembly and function.