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Large-scale modulation of reconstituted Min protein patterns and gradients by defined mutations in MinE's membrane targeting sequence.

By Simon Kretschmer, Katja Zieske and Petra Schwille


The E. coli MinDE oscillator is a paradigm for protein self-organization and gradient formation. Previously, we reconstituted Min protein wave patterns on flat membranes as well as gradient-forming pole-to-pole oscillations in cell-shaped PDMS microcompartments. These oscillations appeared to require direct membrane interaction of the ATPase activating protein MinE. However, it remained unclear how exactly Min protein dynamics are regulated by MinE membrane binding. Here, we dissect the role of MinE's membrane targeting sequence (MTS) by reconstituting various MinE mutants in 2D and 3D geometries. We demonstrate that the MTS defines the lower limit of the concentration-dependent wavelength of Min protein patterns while restraining MinE's ability to stimulate MinD's ATPase activity. Strikingly, a markedly reduced length scale-obtainable even by single mutations-is associated with a rich variety of multistable dynamic modes in cell-shaped compartments. This dramatic remodeling in response to biochemical changes reveals a remarkable trade-off between robustness and versatility of the Min oscillator

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179582
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