Novel divisome-associated protein spatially coupling the z-ring with the chromosomal replication terminus in caulobacter crescentus

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Cell division requires proper spatial coordination with the chromosome, which undergoes dynamic changes during chromosome replication and segregation. FtsZ is a bacterial cytoskeletal protein that assembles into the Z-ring, providing a platform to build the cell division apparatus. In the model bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, the cellular localization of the Z-ring is controlled during the cell cycle in a chromosome replication-coupled manner. Although dynamic localization of the Z-ring at midcell is driven primarily by the replication origin-associated FtsZ inhibitor MipZ, the mechanism ensuring accurate positioning of the Z-ring remains unclear. In this study, we showed that the Z-ring colocalizes with the replication terminus region, located opposite the origin, throughout most of the C. crescentus cell cycle. Spatial organization of the two is mediated by ZapT, a previously uncharacterized protein that inter-acts with the terminus region and associates with ZapA and ZauP, both of which are part of the incipient division apparatus. While the Z-ring and the terminus region coin-cided with the presence of ZapT, colocalization of the two was perturbed in cells lacking zapT, which is accompanied by delayed midcellular positioning of the Z-ring. Moreover, cells overexpressing ZapT showed compromised positioning of the Z-ring and MipZ. These findings underscore the important role of ZapT in controlling cell division pro-cesses. We propose that ZapT acts as a molecular bridge that physically links the terminus region to the Z-ring, thereby ensuring accurate site selection for the Z-ring. Because ZapT is conserved in proteobacteria, these findings may define a general mechanism coordinating cell division with chromosome organization. IMPORTANCE Growing bacteria require careful tuning of cell division processes with dynamic organization of replicating chromosomes. In enteric bacteria, ZapA associates with the cytoskeletal Z-ring and establishes a physical linkage to the chromosomal replication terminus through its interaction with ZapB-MatP-DNA complexes. However, because ZapB and MatP are found only in enteric bacteria, it remains unclear how the Z-ring and the terminus are coordinated in the vast majority of bacteria. Here, we provide evidence that a novel conserved protein, termed ZapT, mediates colocalization of the Z-ring with the terminus in Caulobacter crescentus, a model organism that is phylo-genetically distant from enteric bacteria. Given that ZapT facilitates cell division processes in C. crescentus, this study highlights the universal importance of the physical linkage between the Z-ring and the terminus in maintaining cell integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00487-20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Virology


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