The Escherichia coli cell division mutation ftsM1 is in serU

G. Leclerc, C. Sirard, G. R. Drapeau

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8 Scopus citations


The ftsM1 mutation is believed to be in a gene implicated in the regulation of cell division in Escherichia coli because it displayed the lon mutation phenotypes. In this study, we show that this mutation is located in serU, a gene which codes for tRNA2(ser), and has the phenotypes of the serU allele supH. Both ftsM1 and supH suppressed the leuB6 and ilvD145 missense mutations, and both conferred temperature and UV light irradiation sensitivity to the harboring cells. Cells which carried the ftsM1 mutation or the supH suppressor had very low colony-forming abilities on salt-free L agar, and this phenotype was almost completely abolished by the presence of plasmids bearing the ftsZ+ gene. Furthermore, sensitivity of the mutant cells to UV irradiation was also markedly diminished when they carried a ftsZ+-bearing plasmid. These results suggest that supH-containing cells have reduced FtsZ activities, in accordance with their displaying the phenotypes of the lon mutant cells. The possibility that ftsM1 (supH) is functionally involved in the biosynthesis of a specific protein which affects cell division is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2090-2095
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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