FtsZ ring: the eubacterial division apparatus conserved in archaebacteria


Joe Lutkenhaus E-mail JLUTKENH@KUMC.edu; Tel. (913) 588 7054; Fax (913) 588 7295.


FtsZ is a tubulin-like protein that is essential for cell division in eubacteria. It functions by forming a ring at the division site that directs septation. The archaebacteria constitute a kingdom of life separate from eubacteria and eukaryotes. Like eubacteria, archaebacteria are prokaryotes, although they are phylogenetically closer to eukaryotes. Here it is shown that archaebacteria also possess FtsZ and that it is biochemically similar to eubacterial FtsZs. Significantly, FtsZ from the archaebacterium Haloferax volcanii is a GTPase that is localized to a ring that coincides with the division constriction. These results indicate that the FtsZ ring was part of the division apparatus of a common prokaryotic ancestor that was retained by both eubacteria and archaebacteria.