Min waves without MinC can pattern FtsA-anchored FtsZ filaments on model membranes

Elisa Godino, Anne Doerr, Christophe Danelon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Although the essential proteins that drive bacterial cytokinesis have been identified, the precise mechanisms by which they dynamically interact to enable symmetrical division are largely unknown. In Escherichia coli, cell division begins with the formation of a proto-ring composed of FtsZ and its membrane-tethering proteins FtsA and ZipA. In the broadly proposed molecular scenario for ring positioning, Min waves composed of MinD and MinE distribute the FtsZ-polymerization inhibitor MinC away from mid-cell, where the Z-ring can form. Therefore, MinC is believed to be an essential element connecting the Min and FtsZ subsystems. Here, by combining cell-free protein synthesis with planar lipid membranes and microdroplets, we demonstrate that MinDE drive the formation of dynamic, antiphase patterns of FtsA-anchored FtsZ filaments even in the absence of MinC. These results suggest that Z-ring positioning may be achieved with a more minimal set of proteins than previously envisaged, providing a fresh perspective about synthetic cell division.

Original languageEnglish
Article number675
Number of pages13
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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