Identification of a polar targeting determinant for Bacillus subtilis DivIVA

S. E. Perry, D. H. Edwards

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    22 Citations (Scopus)


    The Bacillus subtilis protein DivIVA controls both the positioning of the vegetative cell division site and the polar attachment of the chromosome during sporulation. In vegetative growth DivIVA attracts the bipartite cell division inhibitor MinCD away from the cell centre and towards the cell pole. This process ensures the inactivation of old polar division sites and leaves the cell centre free for the assembly of a new cell division complex. During sporulation MinCD and DivIVA levels fall, but DivIVA remains at the cell poles and becomes involved in the migration of the chromosomes to the pole. In order to investigate polar targeting of DivIVA, we undertook a mutational analysis of the 164-aminoacid protein. These studies identified one mutant (divIVAR18C) that could not localize to the cell pole but which retained the ability to support both vegetative growth and 50% sporulation efficiency. Further analysis revealed that, in the absence of polar targeting, DivIVA R18C localized to the nucleoid during vegetative growth in a Spo0J/Soj dependent manner and required Spo0J/Soj and MinD to orientate the chromosomes correctly during sporulation. We demonstrate that polar targeting of DivIVA R18C is not essential during vegetative growth because the mutant can recognize the cell division site and influences the localization of MinD. Similarly we show that DivIVA R18C can function during sporulation because it can support the Spo0J/Soj orientation of the chromosome. Inaddition, we establish that both residues 18 and 19 constitute a DivIVA polar targeting determinant.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1237-1249
    Number of pages13
    JournalMolecular Microbiology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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