Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.525, No.4, 948-953, 2020
SulA is able to block cell division in Escherichia coli by a mechanism different from sequestration
The SOS response is considered to be an extremely important feature of bacterial cells. It helps them to survive bad times, including helping to develop resistance to antibiotics. The SOS response blocks the cell division. For Escherichia coli it is well known that the SulA protein directly interacts with FtsZ - a key division protein. Now it is believed that fission blocking is based on FtsZ sequestration by the SulA protein, which leads to decrease in effective concentration of FtsZ in the cell below a critical value, which in vitro leads to dismantling of FtsZ polymers. In this work, we demonstrate that in order to block the division of E. coli, it is sufficient to have a relatively small amount of SulA in the cell. Moreover, the analysis of structures formed by FtsZ in E. coli cells under the conditions of SulA protein expression or the SOS response showed that there is no complete disassembly of FtsZ polymers, although Z-rings indeed are not formed. The results of the work indicate that the well-known sequestration mechanism is not comprehensive to explain blocking of the division process by SulA in vivo. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.