Ariadna Martos, Mercedes Jiménez, Germán Rivas, Petra Schwille
"The components of the bacterial division machinery assemble to form a dynamic ring at mid-cell that drives cytokinesis. The nature of most division proteins and their assembly pathway is known. Our knowledge about the biochemical activities and protein interactions of some key division elements, including those responsible for correct ring positioning, has progressed considerably during the past decade. These developments, together with new imaging and membrane reconstitution technologies, have triggered the ‘bottom-up’ synthetic approach aiming at reconstructing bacterial division in the test tube, which is required to support conclusions derived from cellular and molecular analysis. Here, we describe recent advances in reconstituting Escherichia coli minimal systems able to reproduce essential functions, such as the initial steps of division (proto-ring assembly) and one of the main positioning mechanisms (Min oscillating system), and discuss future perspectives and experimental challenges."