Effects of high hydrostatic pressure on bacterial cytoskeleton FtsZ polymers in vivo and in vitro

Microbiology. 2004 Jun;150(Pt 6):1965-1972. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.26962-0.


Some rod-shaped bacteria, including Escherichia coli, exhibit cell filamentation without septum formation under high-hydrostatic-pressure conditions, indicating that the cell-division process is affected by hydrostatic pressure. The effects of elevated pressure on FtsZ-ring formation in E. coli cells were examined using indirect immunofluorescence microscopy. Elevated pressure of 40 MPa completely inhibited colony formation of E. coli cells under the cultivation conditions used, and the cells exhibited obviously filamentous shapes. In the elongated cells, normal cell-division processes appeared to be inhibited, because no FtsZ rings were observed by indirect immunofluorescent staining. In addition, it was observed that hydrostatic pressure dissociated the E. coli FtsZ polymers in vitro. These results suggest that high hydrostatic pressure directly affects cell survival and morphology through the dissociation of the cytoskeletal frameworks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Culture Media
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development*
  • Escherichia coli / ultrastructure*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Hydrostatic Pressure*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Polymers / metabolism


  • Culture Media
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • FtsZ84 protein, E coli
  • Polymers