Scientific reports

ZipA and FtsA* stabilize FtsZ-GDP miniring structures.

PMID 28623318


The cytokinetic division ring of Escherichia coli comprises filaments of FtsZ tethered to the membrane by FtsA and ZipA. Previous results suggested that ZipA is a Z-ring stabilizer, since in vitro experiments it is shown that ZipA enhanced FtsZ assembly and caused the filaments to bundles. However, this function of ZipA has been challenged by recent studies. First, ZipA-induced FtsZ bundling was not significant at pH greater than 7. Second, some FtsA mutants, such as FtsA* were able to bypass the need of ZipA. We reinvestigated the interaction of FtsZ with ZipA in vitro. We found that ZipA not only stabilized and bundled straight filaments of FtsZ-GTP, but also stabilized the highly curved filaments and miniring structures formed by FtsZ-GDP. FtsA* had a similar stabilization of FtsZ-GDP minirings. Our results suggest that ZipA and FtsA* may contribute to constriction by stabilizing this miniring conformation.