Joe Lutkenhaus, Ph.D.

University Distinguished Professor
Director of COBRE Program - KUMC
Microbiology, Molecular Genetics and Immunology

Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles, 1974

Publications: Click here

lab website

Research Interests

The research in my laboratory is aimed at:

  • elucidating the molecular machinery responsible for cell division in bacteria and
  • determination of the temporal and spatial regulatory mechanisms necessary to ensure that the septum is placed at midcell and that newborn cells each receive a copy of the chromosome. Our work with the bacterium E. coli has led to the discovery of a cytoskeletel element, the Z ring, that directs septation in all prokaryotic organisms. The Z ring is formed by the self assembly of FtsZ, the ancestral homologue of tubulin.

Our present work involves:

  • characterization of FtsZ assembly in vitro;
  • mechanisms involved in positioning the Z ring at the division site; and
  • determination of assembly pathways for other cell division proteins that are localized to the division site.

Selected Publications

  • Lutkenhaus, J. and S. G. Addinall (1997) Bacterial cell division and the Z ring. Annual Review of Biochemistry 66:93-116.
  • Addinall, S.G., C. Cao and J. Lutkenhaus (1997) FtsN, a late recruit to the septum. Mol. Microbiol. 25:303-310.
  • Wang, X., J. Huang, A. Mukherjee, C. Cao and J. Lutkenhaus. (1997) Analysis of the interaction of FtsZ with itself, GTP and FtsA. J. Bacteriol. 179:5551-5559.
  • Lutkenhaus, J. (1997) Bacterial cell division cycle: Let the light shine in. Current Biology 7(9):R573-R575.
  • Mukherjee, A. and J. Lutkenhaus. (1998) Dynamics of FtsZ polymerization are regulated by GTP hydrolysis. EMBO J. 17:462-469.
  • Mukherjee, A. and J. Lutkenhaus. (1998) Inhibition of FtsZ polymerization by SulA, an inhibitor of septation in Escherichia coli. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95:2885-2890.
  • Lutkenhaus, J. (1998) The regulation of bacterial cell division: a time and place for it. Curr. Opinion in Microbiol. 1:210-215.
  • Wang, L. and J. Lutkenhaus. (1998) Localization of FtsI and FtsW to the septum in E. coli. J. Bacteriol. 180:2810-2816.
  • Wang, L. and J. Lutkenhaus. (1998) FtsK is an essential cell division protein that is localized to the septum and induced as part of the SOS response. Mol. Microbiol. 29:731-740.
  • Lutkenhaus, J. (1998) Organelle division: from coli to chloroplasts. Current Biology 8(17):R619-R621.
  • Mukherjee, A. and J. Lutkenhaus. (1999) Analysis of FtsZ assembly by light scattering and determination of the role of divalent metal cations J. Bacteriol. 181:823-832.
  • Liu, Zhan, A. Mukherjee and J. Lutkenhaus. (1999) Recruitment of ZipA to the division site by interaction with FtsZ. Mol. Microbiol. 34:82-90.
  • Hu Z, Mukherjee A, Pichoff S, Lutkenhaus J. (1999) The MinC component of the division site selection system in Escherichia coli interacts with FtsZ to prevent polymerization. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 96:14819-24.
  • Hu Z and J. Lutkenhaus (1999) Topological regulation of cell division in Escherichia coli involves rapid pole to pole oscillation of the division inhibitor MinC under the control of MinD and MinE. Mol Microbiol. 34:82-90.
  • Hu, Z and J. Lutkenhaus (2000) Analysis of MinC reveals two independent domainsinvolved in interaction with MinD and FtsZ. J. Bacteriol. 182: 3965-3971.
  • Hu, Z and J. Lutkenhaus (2001) Topological regulation of cell division in E. coli:Spatiotemporall oscillation of MinD requires stimulation of its ATPase by MinE and phospholipid. Molecular Cell 7: 1337-1343.
  • Pichoff, S., Lutkenhaus, J. (2001) Escherichia coli division inhibitor MinCD blocks septation by preventing Z-ring formation. J. Bacteriol. 183:6630-5.
  • Lutkenhaus, J. , Bi, E. (2001) Editorial overview: Cell morphogenesis and division. Curr Opin Microbiol. 4:621-4.
  • Pichoff, S., Lutkenhaus, J. (2002) Unique and overlapping role for ZipA and FtsA in septal ring assembly in Escherichia coli. EMBO J. 21:685-93.
  • Hu, Z., Gogol, E. and Lutkenhaus, J. (2002) Dynamic assembly of MinD on phospholipid vesicles regulated by ATP and MinE. PNAS 99:6761-6766.
  • Lutkenhaus, J. (2002) Unexpected twist to the Z ring. Developmental Cell 2:519-21.
  • Lutkenhaus, J. (2002) Dynamic proteins in bacteria. Curr Opin Microbiol. 5:548-52.
  • Hu, Z., Saez, C. and Lutkenhaus, J. (2003) Recruitment of MinC, an inhibitor of Z-ring formation, to the membrane in E. coli: Role of MinD and MinE. J Bacteriol. 185:196-203.
  • Hu, Z. and Lutkenhaus, J. (2003) A conserved sequence at the C-terminus of MinD is required for binding to the membrane and targeting MinC to the septum. Mol. Microbiol. 47:345-355.
  • Lutkenhaus, J. and Sundaramoorthy, M. (2003) MinD and role of the deviant Walker A motif, dimerization and membrane binding in oscillation. Mol. Microbiol. 48:295-303.
  • Zhou, H. and J. Lutkenhaus (2003) Membrane binding by MinD involves insertion of hydrophobic residues within the C-terminal amphipathic helix into the bilayer. J. Bacteriol. 185:4326-4335.
  • Lutkenhaus, J. (2003) Another cytoskeleton in the closet. Cell 115:648-50.
  • Zhou, H. and J. Lutkenhaus (2004) The switch I and II regions of MinD are required for binding and activating MinC. J. Bacteriol. 186:1546-55.
  • Zhou, H., R. Schulze, S. Cox, C. Saez, Z. Hu and J. Lutkenhaus (2005) Analysis of MinD mutations reveals residues required for MinE stimulation of the MinD ATPase and residues required for MinC interaction. J. Bacteriol. 187:629-38.
  • Pichoff, S. and J. Lutkenhaus (2005) Tethering the Z ring to the membrane through a conserved membrane targeting sequence in FtsA. Mol. Microbiol. 55:1722-34.
  • Zhou, H. and J. Lutkenhaus (2005) MinC mutants deficient in MinD- and DicB-mediated cell division inhibition due to loss of interaction with MinD, DicB or a septal component. J. Bacteriol. 185:2846-57.
  • Dajkovic, A. and J. Lutkenhaus (2006) FtsZ, executor of bacterial cell division. J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol.11:140-51.
  • Pichoff, S. and J. Lutkenhaus (2007). Identification of a region of FtsA required for interaction with FtsZ. Molecular Microbiology 64:1129-38
  • Lutkenhaus, J. (2007) Assembly and dynamics of the bacterial MinCDE system - Spatial regulation of the Z ring. Ann. Rev. Biochem. 76:539-62.
  • Lutkenhaus, J. (2008) Min oscillation in bacteria. In Cellular oscillatory mechanisms, M. Maroto and N. Monk (eds), Landes Biosciences and Springer Science + Business Media.
  • Hester, C.M. and J. Lutkenhaus (2007) Soj (ParA) DNA binding is mediated by conserved arginines and is essential for plasmid segregation. PNAS 104:20326-31.
  • Pichoff, S. and J. Lutkenhaus (2007) Overview of cell shape: cytoskeletons shape cells. Current Opinion in Microbiology 10:601-5.
  • Dajkovic, A., G. Lan, S.X. Sun, D. Wirtz, and J. Lutkenhaus (2008) MinC spatially controls bacterial cytokinesis by antagonizing the scaffolding function of FtsZ. Current Biology (in press).
Last modified: Dec 01, 2015

Joe Lutkenhaus, Ph.D.


Joe Lutkenhaus, Ph.D.
University Distinguished Professor
Director of COBRE Program - KUMC

Office: 3018F Wahl Hall West
Lab: 3018 Wahl Hall West

P: (913) 588-7054
Lab: (913) 588-7398