Bacterial cell division

Bacterial cell division

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Even though we probably have a complete list of proteins involved in bacterial cell division, how these molecular players are able to self-organize into a functional machinery at the right place and time is not clear. In this research project, we are aiming to understand the mechanism of bacterial cytokinesis by reconstituting the Escherichia coli cell division machinery in a stepwise fashion.

Our goal is to understand the function of divisome proteins for the spatiotemporal organization and mechanics of the entire machinery.

Currently addressing the following questions regarding bacterial cell division: 

  1. How do FtsZ associated proteins modulate the organization of FtsZ filaments? 
  2. How do treadmilling FtsZ filaments organize cell division proteins in space and time? 
People working on this project

Philipp, Marko, Lukas

Relevant publications

N. Baranova, P. Radler, V. M. Hernandez-Rocamora, C. Alfonso, M. Lopez-Pelegrin, G. Rivas, W. Vollmer, M. Loose.
Diffusion and capture permits dynamic coupling between treadmilling FtsZ filaments and cell division proteins.
Nature Microbiology (2020), vol. 5(3):407-417.

P. Caldas, M. Lopez-Pelegrin, D.J.G. Pearce, N.B. Budanur, J. Brugues and M. Loose. 
Cooperative Ordering of Treadmilling Filaments in Cytoskeletal Networks of FtsZ and Its Crosslinker ZapA.
Nature Communications (2019), vol. 10 (1), 5744.


This research project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) with a ERC Starting Grant (“Self-organization of the bacterial cell”, Grant No. 679239).