FtsW activity and lipid II synthesis are required for recruitment of MurJ to midcell during cell division in E coli

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Xiaolong Liu

Nils Y. Meiresonne

Ahmed Bouhss

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Peptidoglycan (PG) is the unique cell shape-determining component of the bacterial envelope, and is a key target for antibiotics. PG synthesis requires the transmembrane movement of the precursor lipid II, and MurJ has been shown to provide this activity in E. coli. However, how MurJ functions in vivo has not been reported. Here we show that MurJ localizes both in the lateral membrane and at midcell, and is recruited to midcell simultaneously with late-localizing divisome proteins and proteins MraY and MurG. MurJ septal localization is dependent on the presence of a complete and active divisome, lipid II synthesis and PBP3/FtsW activities. Inactivation of MurJ, either directly by mutation or through binding with MTSES, did not affect the midcell localization of MurJ. Our study visualizes MurJ localization in vivo and reveals a possible mechanism of how MurJ functions during cell division, which gives possibilities for future investigations and further antibiotics developments.

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