Our main area of research is the bacterial cytoskeleton. We have been involved in showing that prokaryotes contain both actin and tubulin-like proteins that polymerise in vivo and in vitro into filaments similar to their counterparts in eukaryotes.
FtsZ, the bacterial tubulin homologue is part of the cytokinetic ring around the septum during bacterial cell division. We are trying to understand the dynamics of FtsZ-orchestrated cell division in vivo and by reconstituting parts of the process in vitro.
Bacterial actin homologues include MreB and ParM. We investigate MreB fibres that control bacterial cell shape and that are perpendicular to the long axis in rod-shaped cells. ParM is a plasmid protein and forms bipolar spindles that push sister plasmids to the poles, a very minimalistic version of mitosis and a very elegant and simple system to study mechanistically.
In order to understand these systems and their mechanisms, we investigate at the level of cells with fluorescence light microscopy and electron cryo-tomography, at the level of molecules with electron cryo-microscopy and we use X-ray crystallography in order to image atoms.
- Bharat, T.A.M., Murshudov, G.N., Sachse, C. and Löwe, J. (2015)
Structures of actin-like ParM filaments reveal the architecture of plasmid-segregating bipolar spindles
Nature 523: 106-110
- Gligoris T. G., Scheinost J. C., Bürmann F., Petela N., Chan K-L., Uluocak P., Beckouet F., Nasmyth K. and Löwe J. (2014)
Closing the cohesin ring: structure and function of its Smc-kleisin interface
Science 346: 963-967
- Duggin, I. G., Aylett, C. H. S., Walsh, J. C., Michie, K. A., Wang, Q., Turnbull, L., Dawson, E. M., Harry E. J., Whitchurch, C. B., Amos, L. A. and Löwe J. (2014)
CetZ tubulin-like proteins control archaeal cell shape
Nature 519: 362
- van den Ent, F., Izoré, T., Bharat, T., Johnson, C. M. and Löwe, J. (2014)
Bacterial actin MreB forms antiparallel double filaments
eLife 3: e02634
- Szwedziak, P., Wang, Q., Bharat, T.A.M., Tsim, M. and Löwe, J. (2014)
Architecture of the ring formed by the tubulin homologue FtsZ in bacterial cell division
eLife 3: e04601
- Frank Bürmann
- Francesca Coscia
- Junso Fujita
- Andres Gonzalez
- Victoria Hale
- Nicolas Jean
- Byung-Gil Lee
- Yue Liu
- Tim Nierhaus
- Ralf Salzer
- Fusinita van den Ent
- James Wagstaff