During the last phase of cell division in bacteria, a polymeric ring forms at the division site. The ring, made of intracellular proteins, anchors to the cell wall and starts to contract. That initiates a dividing septum to close in, like the shutter of a camera, eventually guillotining the cell into two daughters. All through, the ring remains at the leading edge of the septum and seems to power its closure. It is not understood why does the ring contract. We propose a theoretical model to explain this. It is worth mentioning that a similar contraction phenomenon occurs for the actin ring in eukaryotes, but there it is due to motor proteins, which however, are absent in bacteria.
Volume 94, 2020
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