The worldwide spread of antimicrobial resistance highlights the need of new druggable cellular targets. The increasing knowledge of bacterial cell division suggested the potentiality of this pathway as a pool of alternative drug targets, mainly based on the essentiality of these proteins, as well as on the divergence from their eukaryotic counterparts. People suffering from cystic fibrosis are particularly challenged by the lack of antibiotic alternatives. Among the opportunistic pathogens that colonize the lungs of these patients, Burkholderia cenocepacia is a well-known multi-drug resistant bacterium, particularly difficult to treat. Here we describe the organization of its division cell wall (dcw) cluster: we found that 15 genes of the dcw operon can be transcribed as a polycistronic mRNA from mraZ to ftsZ and that its transcription is under the control of a strong promoter regulated by MraZ. B. cenocepacia J2315 FtsZ was also shown to interact with the other components of the divisome machinery, with a few differences respect to other bacteria, such as the direct interaction with FtsQ. Using an in vitro sedimentation assay, we validated the role of SulA as FtsZ inhibitor, and the roles of FtsA and ZipA as tethers of FtsZ polymers. Together our results pave the way for future antimicrobial design based on the divisome as pool of antibiotic cellular targets.
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