FtsZ Proteins

FtsZ proteins are the bacterial homologues of tubulin and are essential for bacterial cell division.  FtsZ inactivation inhibits cell division, making them attractive targets for novel antimicrobial drugs.  Although FtsZ proteins exhibit a degree of homology, inhibitors of the proteins show differential affinity and differential efficacy. Thus improved targeting can be achieved by screening several FtsZ proteins from different species. To improve drug screening of species-selective antimicrobials, Cytoskeleton offers FtsZ proteins from E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis


Crystal structure of FtsZ protein adapted from Ref:  Lowe & Amos et al. 1998. Nature, 391, 203-206.

For more information about FtsZ proteins, Click here.


The amino-acid sequence identity between different FtsZ species is 35 to 99%, and most commonly 40 to 70%; for a detailed homology database, click here.

Cytoskeleton's products have been cited hundreds of times over the past 18 years. Please contact Cytoskeleton's Technical Support at tservice@cytoskeleton.com for the latest citations .

Question 1:  Why should I use a different FtsZ protein than E. coli FtsZ protein?

Answer 1: We recommend using a FtsZ protein that has the closest homology to your target FtsZ protein.  While the function of the FtsZ proteins from different bacteria may be the same, there are differences in sequence homology between FtsZ proteins across bacterial lines (up to 45% different in some cases), strongly suggesting that each FtsZ protein will have a unique pharmacological profile in response to drug treatment e.g. compound PC190723 is selective for Staphylococcus aureus FtsZ over E. coli FtsZ, ref: Haydon et al. 2008, Science, 321, 1673-75).  In addition, different FtsZ proteins are likely to have different binding proteins (or at least bind at different affinities) and FtsZ protein dynamics are likely to differ as well.  For these reasons, we recommend using FtsZ proteins that match your FtsZ protein of interest in regard to sequence homology. Please contact Technical Support at tservice@cytoskeleton.com for help determining which FtsZ protein most closely relates to your target.


Question 2:  If I need a FtsZ protein for a bacterial species that is not one of Cytoskeleton's products, how can I obtain that?

Answer 2:  Cytoskeleton offers custom protein purification for FtsZ proteins  Or we can align the gene sequences of the FtsZ proteins we currently have in our regular product line to see which protein is the closest homolog to your FtsZ protein of interest.  Please contact Technical Support at tservice@cytoskeleton.com for more information.