An ATP-binding cassette transporter-like complex governs cell-wall hydrolysis at the bacterial cytokinetic ring

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Desirée C YangThomas G Bernhardt


ATP-binding cassette transporters are ubiquitous membrane protein complexes that move substrates across membranes. They do so using ATP-induced conformational changes in their nucleotide-binding domains to alter the conformation of the transport cavity formed by their transmembrane domains. In Escherichia coli, an ATP-binding cassette transporter-like complex composed of FtsE (nucleotide-binding domain) and FtsX (transmembrane domain) has long been known to be important for cytokinesis, but its role in the process has remained mysterious. Here we identify FtsEX as a regulator of cell-wall hydrolysis at the division site. Cell-wall material synthesized by the division machinery is shared initially by daughter cells and must be split by hydrolytic enzymes called "amidases" to drive daughter-cell separation. We recently showed that the amidases require activation at the cytokinetic ring by proteins with LytM domains, of which EnvC is the most critical. In this report, we demonstrate that FtsEX directly recruits EnvC to the septum via an interaction between EnvC and a periplasmic loop of FtsX. Importantly, we also show that FtsEX variants predicted to be ATPase defective still recruit EnvC to the septum but fail to promote cell sep...Continue Reading


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