Structural change in FtsZ induced by Intermolecular interactions between Bound GTP and the T7 Loop

Takashi Matsui, Xuerong Han, Jian Yu, Min Yao, Isao Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Background: SaFtsZ crystallizes in the form of assembled straight protofilaments, with large scale sliding/rotation of its subdomains relative to monomeric FtsZ. Results: Mutants of the T7 loop also crystallized as protofilaments, but the subdomain movement was quite variable. Conclusion: Subdomain movement is strongly correlated with intermolecular interactions via the T7 loop. Significance: Subdomain movement generates GTPase active protofilament and induces the straight to curved conformational change. FtsZ is a prokaryotic homolog of tubulin and is a key molecule in bacterial cell division. FtsZ with bound GTP polymerizes into tubulin-like protofilaments. Upon polymerization, the T7 loop of one subunit is inserted into the nucleotide-binding pocket of the second subunit, which results inGTPhydrolysis. Thus, theT7loop is important for both polymerization and hydrolysis in the tubulin/ FtsZ family. Although x-ray crystallography revealed both straight and curved conformations of tubulin, only a curved structure was known for FtsZ. Recently, however, FtsZ from Staphylococcus aureus has been shown to have a very different conformation from the canonical FtsZ structure. The present study was performed to investigate the structure of FtsZ from Staphylococcus aureus by mutagenesis experiments; the effects of amino acid changes in the T7 loop on the structure as well as on GTPase activity were studied. These analyses indicated that FtsZ changes its conformation suitable for polymerization and GTP hydrolysis by movement between N- and C-subdomains via intermolecular interactions between bound nucleotide and residues in the T7 loop.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3501-3509
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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