Treadmilling FtsZ polymers drive the directional movement of sPG-synthesis enzymes via a Brownian ratchet mechanism

Joshua W. McCausland, Xinxing Yang, Georgia R. Squyres, Zhixin Lyu, Kevin E. Bruce, Melissa M. Lamanna, Bill Söderström, Ethan C. Garner, Malcolm E. Winkler, Jie Xiao, Jian Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The FtsZ protein is a central component of the bacterial cell division machinery. It polymerizes at mid-cell and recruits more than 30 proteins to assemble into a macromolecular complex to direct cell wall constriction. FtsZ polymers exhibit treadmilling dynamics, driving the processive movement of enzymes that synthesize septal peptidoglycan (sPG). Here, we combine theoretical modelling with single-molecule imaging of live bacterial cells to show that FtsZ’s treadmilling drives the directional movement of sPG enzymes via a Brownian ratchet mechanism. The processivity of the directional movement depends on the binding potential between FtsZ and the sPG enzyme, and on a balance between the enzyme’s diffusion and FtsZ’s treadmilling speed. We propose that this interplay may provide a mechanism to control the spatiotemporal distribution of active sPG enzymes, explaining the distinct roles of FtsZ treadmilling in modulating cell wall constriction rate observed in different bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number609
JournalNature communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Treadmilling FtsZ polymers drive the directional movement of sPG-synthesis enzymes via a Brownian ratchet mechanism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this