Structures of the nucleoid occlusion protein SlmA bound to DNA and the C-terminal domain of the cytoskeletal protein FtsZ.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Cell division in most prokaryotes is mediated by FtsZ, which polymerizes to create the cytokinetic Z ring. Multiple FtsZ-binding proteins regulate FtsZ polymerization to ensure the proper spatiotemporal formation of the Z ring at the division site. The DNA-binding protein SlmA binds to FtsZ and prevents Z-ring formation through the nucleoid in a process called "nucleoid occlusion" (NO). As do most FtsZ-accessory proteins, SlmA interacts with the conserved C-terminal domain (CTD) that is connected to the FtsZ core by a long, flexible linker. However, SlmA is distinct from other regulatory factors in that it must be DNA-bound to interact with the FtsZ CTD. Few structures of FtsZ regulator-CTD complexes are available, but all reveal the CTD bound as a helix. To deduce the molecular basis for the unique SlmA-DNA-FtsZ CTD regulatory interaction and provide insight into FtsZ-regulator protein complex formation, we determined structures of Escherichia coli, Vibrio cholera, and Klebsiella pneumonia SlmA-DNA-FtsZ CTD ternary complexes. Strikingly, the FtsZ CTD does not interact with SlmA as a helix but binds as an extended conformation in a narrow, surface-exposed pocket formed only in the DNA-bound state of SlmA and located at the junction between the DNA-binding and C-terminal dimer domains. Binding studies are consistent with the structure and underscore key interactions in complex formation. Combined, these data reveal the molecular basis for the SlmA-DNA-FtsZ interaction with implications for SlmA's NO function and underscore the ability of the FtsZ CTD to adopt a wide range of conformations, explaining its ability to bind diverse regulatory proteins.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schumacher, MA; Zeng, W

Published Date

  • May 3, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 113 / 18

Start / End Page

  • 4988 - 4993

PubMed ID

  • 27091999

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4983851

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1602327113


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States