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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02260

FtsZ of filamentous, heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria has a conserved N-terminal domain required for normal FtsZ polymerization and cell division

  • 1Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain
  • 2Universidad de Extremadura, Spain

Filamentous cyanobacteria grow by intercalary cell division, which should involve distinct steps compared to those producing separate daughter cells. The N-terminal region of FtsZ is highly conserved in the clade of filamentous cyanobacteria capable of cell differentiation. A derivative of the model strain Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 expressing only an FtsZ lacking the amino acids 2-51 of the N-terminal peptide (N-FtsZ) could not be segregated. Strain CSL110 expresses both N-FtsZ, from the endogenous ftsZ gene promoter, and the native FtsZ from a synthetic regulated promoter. Under conditions of N-FtsZ predominance, cells of strain CSL110 progressively enlarge, reflecting reduced cell division, and show instances of asymmetric cell division and aberrant Z-structures notably differing from the Z-ring formed by FtsZ in the wild type. In bacterial 2-hybrid assays FtsZ interacted withN-FtsZ. However, N-FtsZ-GFP appeared impaired for incorporation into Z-rings when expressed together with FtsZ. FtsZ, but not N-FtsZ, interacted with the essential protein SepF. Both FtsZ and N-FtsZ polymerize in vitro exhibiting comparable GTPase activities. However, filaments of FtsZ show a distinct curling forming toroids, whereas N-FtsZ form thick bundles of straight filaments. Thus, the N-terminal FtsZ sequence appears to contribute to a distinct FtsZ polymerization mode that is essential for cell division and division plane location in Anabaena.

Keywords: Anabaena, bacterial multicellularity, Cell Division, Cyanobacterial phylogeny, ftsZ mutants

Received: 06 Jun 2018; Accepted: 05 Sep 2018.

Edited by:

Boran Kartal, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPG), Germany

Reviewed by:

Dirk-Jan Scheffers, University of Groningen, Netherlands
Harold Erickson, Duke University, United States
Sathya N. Nagarajan, UMR5086 Microbiologie Moléculaire et Biochimie Structurale (MMSB), France  

Copyright: © 2018 Corrales-Guerrero, Camargo, Valladares, Picossi, Luque, Ochoa de Alda and Herrero. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Antonia Herrero, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain,