A spindle-like apparatus guides bacterial chromosome segregation.
ABSTRACT Until recently, a dedicated mitotic apparatus that segregates newly replicated chromosomes into daughter cells was believed to be unique to eukaryotic cells. Here we demonstrate that the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus segregates its chromosome using a partitioning (Par) apparatus that has surprising similarities to eukaryotic spindles. We show that the C. crescentus ATPase ParA forms linear polymers in vitro and assembles into a narrow linear structure in vivo. The centromere-binding protein ParB binds to and destabilizes ParA structures in vitro. We propose that this ParB-stimulated ParA depolymerization activity moves the centromere to the opposite cell pole through a burnt bridge Brownian ratchet mechanism. Finally, we identify the pole-specific TipN protein as a new component of the Par system that is required to maintain the directionality of DNA transfer towards the new cell pole. Our results elucidate a bacterial chromosome segregation mechanism that features basic operating principles similar to eukaryotic mitotic machines, including a multivalent protein complex at the centromere that stimulates the dynamic disassembly of polymers to move chromosomes into daughter compartments.
SourceAvailable from: Isabella Santi[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Subcellular organization of the bacterial nucleoid and spatiotemporal dynamics of DNA replication and segregation have been studied intensively, but the functional link between these processes remains poorly understood. Here we use quantitative time-lapse fluorescence microscopy for single-cell analysis of chromosome organization and DNA replisome dynamics in Mycobacterium smegmatis. We report that DNA replication takes place near midcell, where, following assembly of the replisome on the replication origin, the left and right replication forks colocalize throughout the replication cycle. From its initial position near the cell pole, a fluorescently tagged chromosomal locus (attB, 245° from the origin) moves rapidly to the replisome complex just before it is replicated. The newly duplicated attB loci then segregate to mirror-symmetric positions relative to midcell. Genetic ablation of ParB, a component of the ParABS chromosome segregation system, causes marked defects in chromosome organization, condensation, and segregation. ParB deficiency also results in mislocalization of the DNA replication machinery and SMC (structural maintenance of chromosome) protein. These observations suggest that ParB and SMC play important and overlapping roles in chromosome organization and replisome dynamics in mycobacteria.mBio 02/2015; DOI:10.1128/mBio.01999-14 · 6.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The study of chromosome segregation is currently one of the most exciting research frontiers in cell biology. In this review, we discuss our current knowledge of the chromosome segregation process in Vibrio cholerae, based primarily on findings from fluorescence microscopy experiments. This bacterium is of special interest because of its eukaryotic feature of having a divided genome, a feature shared with 10% of known bacteria. We also discuss how the segregation mechanisms of V. cholerae compare with those in other bacteria, and highlight some of the remaining questions regarding the process of bacterial chromosome segregation. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology 01/2014; 24(5-6):291-300. DOI:10.1159/000369100 · 1.49 Impact Factor