Targeting the assembly of bacterial cell division protein FtsZ with small molecules

ACS Chem Biol. 2012 Feb 17;7(2):269-77. doi: 10.1021/cb2003626. Epub 2011 Nov 15.


FtsZ is the key protein of bacterial cell division and an emergent target for new antibiotics. It is a filament-forming GTPase and a structural homologue of eukaryotic tubulin. A number of FtsZ-interacting compounds have been reported, some of which have powerful antibacterial activity. Here we review recent advances and new approaches in modulating FtsZ assembly with small molecules. This includes analyzing their chemical features, binding sites, mechanisms of action, the methods employed, and computational insights, aimed at a better understanding of their molecular recognition by FtsZ and at rational antibiotic design.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / chemistry
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / chemistry
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Small Molecule Libraries / chemistry*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • FtsZ protein, Bacteria
  • Small Molecule Libraries