Targeting the Bacterial Division Protein FtsZ

Katherine A. Hurley, Thiago M A Santos, Gabriella M. Nepomuceno, Valerie Huynh, Jared T. Shaw, Douglas B. Weibel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Similar to its eukaryotic counterpart, the prokaryotic cytoskeleton is essential for the structural and mechanical properties of bacterial cells. The essential protein FtsZ is a central player in the cytoskeletal family, forms a cytokinetic ring at mid-cell, and recruits the division machinery to orchestrate cell division. Cells depleted of or lacking functional FtsZ do not divide and grow into long filaments that eventually lyse. FtsZ has been studied extensively as a target for antibacterial development. In this Perspective, we review the structural and biochemical properties of FtsZ, its role in cell biochemistry and physiology, the different mechanisms of inhibiting FtsZ, small molecule antagonists (including some misconceptions about mechanisms of action), and their discovery strategies. This collective information will inform chemists on different aspects of FtsZ that can be (and have been) used to develop successful strategies for devising new families of cell division inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6975-6998
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 11 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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