Isolated Chloroplast Division Machinery Can Actively Constrict After Stretching

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Science  08 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5792, pp. 1435-1438
DOI: 10.1126/science.1129689

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Chloroplast division involves plastid-dividing, dynamin, and FtsZ (PDF) rings. We isolated intact supertwisted (or spiral) and circular PDF machineries from chloroplasts of the red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. After individual intact PDF machineries were stretched to four times their original lengths with optical tweezers, they spontaneously returned to their original sizes. Dynamin-released PDF machineries did not retain the spiral structure and could not be stretched. Thus, dynamin may generate the motive force for contraction by filament sliding in dividing chloroplasts, in addition to pinching-off the membranes.

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