Nucleotide-dependent conformations of FtsZ dimers and force generation observed through molecular dynamics simulations.
ABSTRACT: The bacterial cytoskeletal protein FtsZ is a GTPase that is thought to provide mechanical constriction force via an unidentified mechanism. Purified FtsZ polymerizes into filaments with varying structures in vitro: while GTP-bound FtsZ assembles into straight or gently curved filaments, GDP-bound FtsZ forms highly curved filaments, prompting the hypothesis that a difference in the inherent curvature of FtsZ filaments provides mechanical force. However, no nucleotide-dependent structural transition of FtsZ monomers has been observed to support this force generation model. Here, we present a series of all-atom molecular dynamics simulations probing the effects of nucleotide binding on the structure of an FtsZ dimer. We found that the FtsZ-dimer structure is dependent on nucleotide-binding state. While a GTP-bound FtsZ dimer retained a firm monomer-monomer contact, a GDP-bound FtsZ dimer lost some of the monomer-monomer association, leading to a "hinge-opening" event that resulted in a more bent dimer, while leaving each monomer structure largely unaffected. We constructed models of FtsZ filaments and found that a GDP-FtsZ filament is much more curved than a GTP-FtsZ filament, with the degree of curvature matching prior experimental data. FtsZ dynamics were used to estimate the amount of force an FtsZ filament could exert when hydrolysis occurs (20-30 pN per monomer). This magnitude of force is sufficient to direct inward cell-wall growth during division, and to produce the observed degree of membrane pinching in liposomes. Taken together, our data provide molecular-scale insight on the origin of FtsZ-based constriction force, and the mechanism underlying prokaryotic cell division.
Project description:Bacterial cytoskeletal protein FtsZ assembles in a head-to-tail manner, forming dynamic filaments that are essential for cell division. Here, we study their dynamics using unbiased atomistic molecular simulations from representative filament crystal structures. In agreement with experimental data, we find different filament curvatures that are supported by a nucleotide-regulated hinge motion between consecutive FtsZ monomers. Whereas GTP-FtsZ filaments bend and twist in a preferred orientation, thereby burying the nucleotide, the differently curved GDP-FtsZ filaments exhibit a heterogeneous distribution of open and closed interfaces between monomers. We identify a coordinated Mg(2+) ion as the key structural element in closing the nucleotide site and stabilizing GTP filaments, whereas the loss of the contacts with loop T7 from the next monomer in GDP filaments leads to open interfaces that are more prone to depolymerization. We monitored the FtsZ monomer assembly switch, which involves opening/closing of the cleft between the C-terminal domain and the H7 helix, and observed the relaxation of isolated and filament minus-end monomers into the closed-cleft inactive conformation. This result validates the proposed switch between the low-affinity monomeric closed-cleft conformation and the active open-cleft FtsZ conformation within filaments. Finally, we observed how the antibiotic PC190723 suppresses the disassembly switch and allosterically induces closure of the intermonomer interfaces, thus stabilizing the filament. Our studies provide detailed structural and dynamic insights into modulation of both the intrinsic curvature of the FtsZ filaments and the molecular switch coupled to the high-affinity end-wise association of FtsZ monomers.
Project description:Bacterial cytoskeletal protein FtsZ binds and hydrolyzes GTP, and assembles into dynamic filaments that are essential for cell division. Here, we used a multi-scale computational strategy that combined all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and coarse-grained models to reveal the conformational dynamics of assembled FtsZ. We found that the top end of a filament is highly dynamic and can undergo T-to-R transitions in both GTP- and GDP-bound states. We observed several subcategories of nucleation related dimer species, which leading to a feasible nucleation pathway. In addition, we observed that FtsZ filament exhibits noticeable amounts of twisting, indicating a substantial helicity of the FtsZ filament. These results agree with the previously models and experimental data. Anisotropy network model (ANM) analysis revealed a polymerization enhanced assembly cooperativity, and indicated that the cooperative motions in FtsZ are encoded in the structure. Taken together, our study provides a molecular-level understanding of the diversity of the structural states of FtsZ and the relationships among polymerization, hydrolysis, and cooperative assembly, which should shed new light on the molecular basis of FtsZ's cooperativity.
Project description:We report observation and analysis of the depolymerization filaments of the bacterial cytoskeletal protein FtsZ (filament temperature-sensitive Z) formed on a mica surface. At low concentration, proteins adsorbed on the surface polymerize forming curved filaments that close into rings that remain stable for some time before opening irreversibly and fully depolymerizing. The distribution of ring lifetimes (T) as a function of length (N), shows that the rate of ring aperture correlates with filament length. If this ring lifetime is expressed as a bond survival time, (T(b) ? NT), this correlation is abolished, indicating that these rupture events occur randomly and independently at each monomer interface. After rings open irreversibly, depolymerization of the remaining filaments is fast, but can be slowed down and followed using a nonhydrolyzing GTP analogue. The histogram of depolymerization velocities of individual filaments has an asymmetric distribution that can be fit with a computer model that assumes two rupture rates, a slow one similar to the one observed for ring aperture, affecting monomers in the central part of the filaments, and a faster one affecting monomers closer to the open ends. From the quantitative analysis, we conclude that the depolymerization rate is affected both by nucleotide hydrolysis rate and by its exchange along the filament, that all monomer interfaces are equally competent for hydrolysis, although depolymerization is faster at the open ends than in central filament regions, and that all monomer-monomer interactions, regardless of the nucleotide present, can adopt a curved configuration.
Project description:The Min system negatively regulates the position of the Z ring, which serves as a scaffold for the divisome that mediates bacterial cytokinesis. In Escherichia coli, this system consists of MinC, which antagonizes assembly of the tubulin homologue FtsZ. MinC is recruited to the membrane by MinD and induced by MinE to oscillate between the cell poles. MinC is a dimer with each monomer consisting of functionally distinct MinCN and MinCC domains, both of which contact FtsZ. According to one model, MinCC/MinD binding to the FtsZ tail positions MinCN at the junction of two GDP-containing subunits in the filament, leading to filament breakage. Others posit that MinC sequesters FtsZ-GDP monomers or that MinCN caps the minus end of FtsZ polymers and that MinCC interferes with lateral interactions between FtsZ filaments. Here, we isolated minC mutations that impair MinCN function and analyzed FtsZ mutants resistant to MinC/MinD. Surprisingly, we found mutations in both minC and ftsZ that differentiate inhibition by MinC from inhibition by MinC/MinD. Analysis of these mutations suggests that inhibition of the Z ring by MinC alone is due to sequestration, whereas inhibition by MinC/MinD is not. In conclusion, our genetic and biochemical data support the model that MinC/MinD fragments FtsZ filaments.
Project description:Stable maintenance of low-copy-number plasmids requires partition (par) systems that consist of a nucleotide hydrolase, a DNA-binding protein, and a cis-acting DNA-binding site. The FtsZ/tubulin-like GTPase TubZ was identified as a partitioning factor of the virulence plasmids pBtoxis and pXO1 in Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus anthracis, respectively. TubZ exhibits high GTPase activity and assembles into polymers both in vivo and in vitro, and its "treadmilling" movement is required for plasmid stability in the cell. To investigate the molecular mechanism of pXO1 plasmid segregation by TubZ filaments, we determined the crystal structures of Bacillus cereus TubZ in apo-, GDP-, and guanosine 5'-3-O-(thio)triphosphate (GTP?S)-bound forms at resolutions of 2.1, 1.9, and 3.3 Å, respectively. Interestingly, the slowly hydrolyzable GTP analog GTP?S was hydrolyzed to GDP in the crystal. In the post-GTP hydrolysis state, GDP-bound B. cereus TubZ forms a dimer by the head-to-tail association of individual subunits in the asymmetric unit, which is similar to the protofilament formation of FtsZ and B. thuringiensis TubZ. However, the M loop interacts with the nucleotide-binding site of the adjacent subunit and stabilizes the filament structure in a different manner, which indicates that the molecular assembly of the TubZ-related par systems is not stringently conserved. Furthermore, we show that the C-terminal tail of TubZ is required for association with the DNA-binding protein TubR. Using a combination of crystallography, site-directed mutagenesis, and biochemical analysis, our results provide the structural basis of the TubZ polymer that may drive DNA segregation.
Project description:We have used a simple model system to test the prediction that surface attachment strength of filaments presenting a torsion would affect their shape and properties. FtsZ from E. coli containing one cysteine in position 2 was covalently attached to a lipid bilayer containing maleimide lipids either in their head group (to simulate tight attachment) or at the end of a polyethylene glycol molecule attached to the head group (to simulate loose binding). We found that filaments tightly attached grew straight, growing from both ends, until they formed a two-dimensional lattice. Further monomer additions to their sides generated a dense layer of oriented filaments that fully covered the lipid membrane. After this point the surface became unstable and the bilayer detached from the surface. Filaments with a loose binding were initially curved and later evolved into straight thicker bundles that destabilized the membrane after reaching a certain surface density. Previously described theoretical models of FtsZ filament assembly on surfaces that include lateral interactions, spontaneous curvature, torsion, anchoring to the membrane, relative geometry of the surface and the filament 'living-polymer' condition in the presence of guanosine triphosphate (GTP) can offer some clues about the driving forces inducing these filament rearrangements.
Project description:FtsZ is a GTPase that assembles at midcell into a dynamic ring that constricts the membrane to induce cell division in the majority of bacteria, in many archea and several organelles. In vitro, FtsZ polymerizes in a GTP-dependent manner forming a variety of filamentous flexible structures. Based on data derived from the measurement of the in vitro polymerization of Escherichia coli FtsZ cell division protein we have formulated a model in which the fine balance between curvature, flexibility and lateral interactions accounts for structural and dynamic properties of the FtsZ polymers observed with AFM. The experimental results have been used by the model to calibrate the interaction energies and the values obtained indicate that the filaments are very plastic. The extension of the model to explore filament behavior on a cylindrical surface has shown that the FtsZ condensates promoted by lateral interactions can easily form ring structures through minor modulations of either filament curvature or longitudinal bond energies. The condensation of short, monomer exchanging filaments into rings is shown to produce enough force to induce membrane deformations.PACS codes: 87.15.ak, 87.16.ka, 87.17.Ee.
Project description:To divide, bacteria must constrict their membranes against significant force from turgor pressure. A tubulin homolog, FtsZ, is thought to drive constriction, but how FtsZ filaments might generate constrictive force in the absence of motor proteins is not well understood. There are two predominant models in the field. In one, FtsZ filaments overlap to form complete rings around the circumference of the cell, and attractive forces cause filaments to slide past each other to maximize lateral contact. In the other, filaments exert force on the membrane by a GTP-hydrolysis-induced switch in conformation from straight to bent. Here, we developed software, ZCONSTRICT, for quantitative three-dimensional (3D) simulations of Gram-negative bacterial cell division to test these two models and identify critical conditions required for them to work. We find that the avidity of any kind of lateral interactions quickly halts the sliding of filaments, so a mechanism such as depolymerization or treadmilling is required to sustain constriction by filament sliding. For filament bending, we find that a mechanism such as the presence of a rigid linker is required to constrain bending to within the division plane and maintain the distance observed <i>in vivo</i> between the filaments and the membrane. Of these two models, only the filament bending model is consistent with our lab's recent observation of constriction associated with a single, short FtsZ filament.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> FtsZ is thought to generate constrictive force to divide the cell, possibly via one of two predominant models in the field. In one, FtsZ filaments overlap to form complete rings which constrict as filaments slide past each other to maximize lateral contact. In the other, filaments exert force on the membrane by switching conformation from straight to bent. Here, we developed software, ZCONSTRICT, for three-dimensional (3D) simulations to test these two models. We find that a mechanism such as depolymerization or treadmilling are required to sustain constriction by filament sliding. For filament bending, we find that a mechanism that constrains bending to within the division plane is required to maintain the distance observed <i>in vivo</i> between the filaments and the membrane.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDK), conserved across bacteria to humans, synthesises NTP from NDP and ATP. The eukaryotic homologue, the NDPK, uses ATP to phosphorylate the tubulin-bound GDP to GTP for tubulin polymerisation. The bacterial cytokinetic protein FtsZ, which is the tubulin homologue, also uses GTP for polymerisation. Therefore, we examined whether NDK can interact with FtsZ to convert FtsZ-bound GDP and/or free GDP to GTP to trigger FtsZ polymerisation.<h4>Methods</h4>Recombinant and native NDK and FtsZ proteins of Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis were used as the experimental samples. FtsZ polymersation was monitored using 90° light scattering and FtsZ polymer pelleting assays. The ?32P-GTP synthesised by NDK from GDP and ?32P-ATP was detected using thin layer chromatography and quantitated using phosphorimager. The FtsZ bound 32P-GTP was quantitated using phosphorimager, after UV-crosslinking, followed by SDS-PAGE. The NDK-FtsZ interaction was determined using Ni2+-NTA-pulldown assay and co-immunoprecipitation of the recombinant and native proteins in vitro and ex vivo, respectively.<h4>Results</h4>NDK triggered instantaneous polymerisation of GDP-precharged recombinant FtsZ in the presence of ATP, similar to the polymerisation of recombinant FtsZ (not GDP-precharged) upon the direct addition of GTP. Similarly, NDK triggered polymerisation of recombinant FtsZ (not GDP-precharged) in the presence of free GDP and ATP as well. Mutant NDK, partially deficient in GTP synthesis from ATP and GDP, triggered low level of polymerisation of MsFtsZ, but not of MtFtsZ. As characteristic of NDK's NTP substrate non-specificity, it used CTP, TTP, and UTP also to convert GDP to GTP, to trigger FtsZ polymerisation. The NDK of one mycobacterial species could trigger the polymerisation of the FtsZ of another mycobacterial species. Both the recombinant and the native NDK and FtsZ showed interaction with each other in vitro and ex vivo, alluding to the possibility of direct phosphorylation of FtsZ-bound GDP by NDK.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Irrespective of the bacterial species, NDK interacts with FtsZ in vitro and ex vivo and, through the synthesis of GTP from FtsZ-bound GDP and/or free GDP, and ATP (CTP/TTP/UTP), triggers FtsZ polymerisation. The possible biological context of this novel activity of NDK is presented.
Project description:Microtubules are long polymers of alphabeta-tubulin heterodimers. They undergo a process known as dynamic instability, in which the ends of a microtubule switch stochastically between phases of slow growth and rapid shrinkage. The molecular mechanisms inducing the depolymerization of microtubules were attributed to the hydrolysis of the guanosine triphosphate (GTP) nucleotide bound to the beta-tubulin. The hydrolysis of GTP is thought to cause microtubule instability by promoting outward curving of the protofilaments constituting the microtubule lattice. The bending of protofilaments is associated with the structural transformation of a tubulin dimer from straight to curved conformations. However, the nature of intrinsic bending of the dimer remains elusive. This study uses molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and coarse-grained analysis to reveal the intrinsic bending, as well as the local structural rearrangements, of the unassembled tubulin dimer as the dimer relaxes from its lattice-constrained, straight conformation of a zinc-induced tubulin sheet. The effect of the nucleotide state on dimer-bending is investigated by the introduction of gamma-phosphate into the beta-tubulin to form GTP-bound tubulin. In agreement with recent experimental studies that proposed nucleotide-independent curved conformations, both guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-bound and GTP-bound tubulin dimers were found to have curved conformations, but with a tendency toward smaller bending in the GTP-tubulin than in the GDP-tubulin. The perturbation induced through the introduction of gamma-phosphate is posited to play a role in straightening the intradimer bending. The local structural rearrangements of GDP-tubulin because of the bending mode of motion of the dimer reveal that one of the three functional domains, the intermediate domain, exhibits significantly lower bending deformation compared with the others, signifying a dynamic connection to the functionally defined domains.