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Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 104147, 10 pages
Research Article

The Nitrosopumilus maritimus CdvB, but Not FtsZ, Assembles into Polymers

1Cell Division Laboratory, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117604
2Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 14 Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543
3Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore, 5A Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117411

Received 28 February 2013; Accepted 8 May 2013

Academic Editor: Jerry Eichler

Copyright © 2013 Kian-Hong Ng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota are two major phyla of archaea which use distinct molecular apparatuses for cell division. Euryarchaea make use of the tubulin-related protein FtsZ, while Crenarchaea, which appear to lack functional FtsZ, employ the Cdv (cell division) components to divide. Ammonia oxidizing archaeon (AOA) Nitrosopumilus maritimus belongs to another archaeal phylum, the Thaumarchaeota, which has both FtsZ and Cdv genes in the genome. Here, we used a heterologous expression system to characterize FtsZ and Cdv proteins from N. maritimus by investigating the ability of these proteins to form polymers. We show that one of the Cdv proteins in N. maritimus, the CdvB (Nmar_0816), is capable of forming stable polymers when expressed in fission yeast. The N. maritimus CdvB is also capable of assembling into filaments in mammalian cells. However, N. maritimus FtsZ does not assemble into polymers in our system. The ability of CdvB, but not FtsZ, to polymerize is consistent with a recent finding showing that several Cdv proteins, but not FtsZ, localize to the mid-cell site in the dividing N. maritimus. Thus, we propose that it is Cdv proteins, rather than FtsZ, that function as the cell division apparatus in N. maritimus.