Surface Topology Engineering of Membranes for the Mechanical Investigation of the Tubulin Homologue FtsZ

Authors

  • Senthil Arumugam,

    1. Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, 01307 Dresden (Germany)
    2. Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden, Tatzberg 47/51, 01307 Dresden (Germany)
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  • Grzegorz Chwastek,

    1. Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, 01307 Dresden (Germany)
    2. Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden, Tatzberg 47/51, 01307 Dresden (Germany)
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  • Dr. Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich,

    1. Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems, Noethnitzerstrasse 38, 01187 Dresden (Germany)
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  • Carina Ehrig,

    1. Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, 01307 Dresden (Germany)
    2. Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden, Tatzberg 47/51, 01307 Dresden (Germany)
    3. Current address: Siemens AG, CT T DE HW3, Günther-Scharowsky-Str.1, 91058 Erlangen (Germany)
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  • Dr. Ingolf Mönch,

    1. Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, Helmholtzstraße 20, 01069 Dresden (Germany)
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  • Prof. Dr. Petra Schwille

    Corresponding author
    1. Dept. Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried (Germany)
    • Dept. Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried (Germany)
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  • We would like to thank Harold Erickson for the plasmids, Thomas Kurth for help with SEM, David Drechsel for help with protein purification, and German Rivas, Zdenek Petrasek, and Benjamin Friedrich for discussions and suggestions. S.A. is supported by a PhD fellowship from Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering. P.S. acknowledges the HFSP grant “Synthetic Biology of cell division: reconstructing the bacterial division machinery in the test tube”.

Abstract

original image

Bending over backward: Despite their small size, bacteria display highly organized cytoskeletal structures. Using microfabricated supports for model membranes, mechanical features of FtsZ (blue hexagons) filaments, a key component of bacterial cell division, can be addressed. Studying the curvature of an FtsZ filament into a groove or around a capillary (see picture) helps to understand its mechanics.

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