Bacterial cell division: assembly, maintenance and disassembly of the Z ring

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Sep;7(9):642-53. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2198.


Bacterial cell division is orchestrated by a tubulin homologue, FtsZ, which polymerizes to form a ring-like structure that is both a scaffold for the assembly of the bacterial cytokinetic machinery and, at least in part, a source of the energy for constriction. FtsZ assembly is tightly regulated, and a diverse repertoire of accessory proteins contributes to the formation of a functional division machine that is responsive to cell cycle status and environmental stress. In this Review, we describe the interaction of these proteins with FtsZ and discuss recent advances in our understanding of Z ring assembly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Division*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Multimerization*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • FtsZ protein, Bacteria