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Regulating cell shape in mycobacteria

15.07.2005


Dr. Robert Husson and colleagues have found two serine threonine kinase genes (pknA and pknB) that regulate cell shape, and possibly cell division, in the bacterial pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The researchers identified three in vivo substrates of PknA and PknB, one of which (Wag31) is an important factor in controlling bacterial cell division and cell shape.



Overexpression of either Pkn protein results in a cell shape defect. Dr. Husson is confident that "these findings describe a new mechanism by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis regulates cell shape. The presence of related signaling molecules in a broad range of gram positive bacteria suggests that this mechanism may be widely conserved among bacteria."

Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu

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