Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 205, Issue 1, pp 134-145

First online:

A new cell division operon inEscherichia coli

  • Deborah R. GillAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick
  • , Graham F. HatfullAffiliated withMRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
  • , George P. C. SalmondAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick

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At 76 min on theE. coli genetic map there is a cluster of genes affecting essential cellular functions, including the heat shock response and cell division. A combination ofin-vivo andin-vitro genetic analysis of cell division mutants suggests that the cell division genefts E is the second gene in a 3 gene operon. A cold-sensitive mutant, defective in the third gene, is also unable to divide at the restrictive temperature, and we designate this new cell division genefts X. Another cell division gene,fts S, is very close to, but distinct from, the 3 genes of the operon. Thefts E product is a 24.5 Kd polypeptide which shows strong homology with a small group of proteins involved in transport. Both thefts E product and the protein coded by the first gene (fts Y) in the operon have a sequence motif found in a wide range of heterogeneous proteins, including the Ras proteins of yeast. This common domain is indicative of a nucleotide-binding site.

Key words

Cell division fts E Operon Nucleotidebinding Transport