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RodZ: a key-player in cell elongation and cell division in Escherichia coli

Department of Life Science, College of Science, Rikkyo University, 3-34-1 Nishi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-8501, Japan

Special Issues: Bacterial Cell Surface

RodZ is required for determination of cell shape in rod-shaped bacterium, such as Escherichia coli. RodZ is a transmembrane protein and forms a supramolecular complex called the Rod complex with other proteins, such as MreB-actin and peptidoglycan synthesis enzymes (for e.g., PBP2). Deletion of the rodZ gene changes the cell shape from rod to round or ovoid. Another supramolecular complex called divisome that controls cell division mainly consists of FtsZ-tubulin. MreB directly interacts with FtsZ and this interaction is critical to trigger a transition from cell elongation to cell division. Recently, we found that RodZ also directly interacts with FtsZ, and RodZ recruits MreB to the divisome. Formation of the division ring, called Z ring, is delayed if RodZ does not interact with FtsZ, indicating that RodZ might facilitate the formation of the Z ring during the cell division process. In this mini-review, we have summarized the roles of RodZ in cell elongation and cell division, especially based on our recent study.
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