In Bacillus subtilis, EzrA is involved in preventing aberrant formation of FtsZ rings and has also been implicated in the localization cycle of Pbp1. We have identified the orthologue of EzrA in Staphylococcus aureus to be essential for growth and cell division in this organism. Phenotypic analyses following titration of EzrA levels in S. aureus have shown that the protein is required for peptidoglycan synthesis as well as for assembly of the divisome at the midcell and cytokinesis. Protein interaction studies revealed that EzrA forms a complex with both the cytoplasmic components of the division machinery and those with periplasmic domains, suggesting that EzrA may be a scaffold molecule permitting the assembly of the division complex and forming an interface between the cytoplasmic cytoskeletal element FtsZ and the peptidoglycan biosynthetic apparatus active in the periplasm.
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