MreB polymers and curvature localization are enhanced by RodZ and predict E. coli's cylindrical uniformity

Benjamin P. Bratton, Joshua W. Shaevitz, Zemer Gitai, Randy M. Morgenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The actin-like protein MreB has been proposed to coordinate the synthesis of the cell wall to determine cell shape in bacteria. MreB is preferentially localized to areas of the cell with specific curved geometries, avoiding the cell poles. It remains unclear whether MreB's curvature preference is regulated by additional factors, and which specific features of MreB promote specific features of rod shape growth. Here, we show that the transmembrane protein RodZ modulates MreB curvature preference and polymer number in E. coli, properties which are regulated independently. An unbiased machine learning analysis shows that MreB polymer number, the total length of MreB polymers, and MreB curvature preference are key correlates of cylindrical uniformity, the variability in radius within a single cell. Changes in the values of these parameters are highly predictive of the resulting changes in cell shape (r 2 = 0.93). Our data thus suggest RodZ promotes the assembly of geometrically-localized MreB polymers that lead to the growth of uniform cylinders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2797
JournalNature communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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