Structural change in FtsZ protein caused by intermolecular interaction identified for the first time

Research Press Release | March 25, 2014

Press Release
Key Points ・The three-dimensional structure of FtsZ, which is an essential protein for cell division, and its variants were determined, and two distinct structures of FtsZ were identified.

・The polymerization structure of FtsZ has been shown to change from linear to curved, due to intermolecular interaction of the T7 loop of FtsZ and the bound GTP (guanosine triphosphate) site of the adjoining molecule.

・A change between two distinct structures of FtsZ is reflected in the formation and dissociation mechanism of the Z ring during cell division.

Overview Cell division, where one cell divides into two daughter cells, is essential for cell multiplication. After DNA is replicated, cell division of bacteria begins by binding the cell-dividing protein FtsZ with GTP, followed by self-polymerization. Next, a ring—called “Z ring”—is formed along with other proteins at the division site in the middle of the cell. At that time, FtsZ causes a change in polymerization conditions from liner to curved due to a GTP hydrolytic reaction with FtsZ. Finally, the Z ring contracts, constricting the cell, and two cells are formed as a result of the division.

In this research, we determined structures of FtsZ from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus by the X-ray crystal structure analysis. Based on the structure, we created variants of which functionally important T7 loop was modified, and also determined the structures of variants. These analyses indicated that FtsZ changes its conformation suitable for polymerization and GTP hydrolysis by movement between N- and C-terminal subdomains via intermolecular interactions between bound GTP and residues in the T7 loop of adjoining molecule.


Min Yao, Professor; Isao Tanaka, Specially Appointed Professor, Laboratory of X-ray Structural Biology, Faculty of Advanced Life Science, Hokkaido University

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 タンパク質 FtsZに結合した GTPと T7ループの相互作用が タンパク質 FtsZの構造変化を引き起こすことをはじめて解明
Publications Journal of Biological Chemistry (2014.2.7)