The conserved C-terminal tail of FtsZ is required for the septal localization and division inhibitory activity of MinCC/MinD


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The Escherichia coli Min system contributes to spatial regulation of cytokinesis by preventing assembly of the Z ring away from midcell. MinC is a cell division inhibitor whose activity is spatially regulated by MinD and MinE. MinC has two functional domains of similar size, both of which have division inhibitory activity in the proper context. However, the molecular mechanism of the inhibitory action of either domain is not very clear. Here, we report that the septal localization and division inhibitory activity of MinCC/MinD requires the conserved C-terminal tail of FtsZ. This tail also mediates interaction with two essential division proteins, ZipA and FtsA, to link FtsZ polymers to the membrane. Overproduction of MinCC/MinD displaces FtsA from the Z ring and eventually disrupts the Z ring, probably because it also displaces ZipA. These results support a model for the division inhibitory action of MinC/MinD. MinC/MinD binds to ZipA and FtsA decorated FtsZ polymers located at the membrane through the MinCC/MinD–FtsZ interaction. This binding displaces FtsA and/or ZipA, and more importantly, positions MinCN near the FtsZ polymers making it a more effective inhibitor.