GTP-dependent polymerization of the tubulin-like RepX replication protein encoded by the pXO1 plasmid of Bacillus anthracis.
ABSTRACT RepX protein encoded by the pXO1 plasmid of Bacillus anthracis is required for plasmid replication. RepX harbours the tubulin signature motif and contains limited amino acid sequence homology to the bacterial cell division protein FtsZ. Although replication proteins are not known to polymerize, here we show by electron microscopy that RepX undergoes GTP-dependent polymerization into long filaments. RepX filaments assembled in the presence of GTPgammaS were more stable than those assembled in the presence of GTP, suggesting a role for GTP hydrolysis in the depolymerization of the filaments. Light scattering studies showed that RepX underwent rapid polymerization, and substitution of GTP with GTPgammaS stabilized the filaments. RepX exhibited GTPase activity and a mutation in the tubulin signature motif severely impaired its GTPase activity and its polymerization in vitro. Unlike FtsZ homologues, RepX harbours a highly basic carboxyl-terminal region and exhibits GTP-dependent, non-specific DNA binding activity. We speculate that RepX may be involved in both the replication and segregation of the pXO1 plasmid.
- SourceAvailable from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We here identify a protein (AlfA; actin like filament) that defines a new family of actins that are only distantly related to MreB and ParM. AlfA is required for segregation of Bacillus subtilis plasmid pBET131 (a mini pLS32-derivative) during growth and sporulation. A 3-kb DNA fragment encoding alfA and a downstream gene (alfB) is necessary and sufficient for plasmid stability. AlfA-GFP assembles dynamic cytoskeletal filaments that rapidly turn over (t(1/2)< approximately 45 s) in fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. A point mutation (alfA D168A) that completely inhibits AlfA subunit exchange in vivo is strongly defective for plasmid segregation, demonstrating that dynamic polymerization of AlfA is necessary for function. During sporulation, plasmid segregation occurs before septation and independently of the DNA translocase SpoIIIE and the chromosomal Par proteins Soj and Spo0J. The absence of the RacA chromosome anchoring protein reduces the efficiency of plasmid segregation (by about two-fold), suggesting that it might contribute to anchoring the plasmid at the pole during sporulation. Our results suggest that the dynamic polymerization of AlfA mediates plasmid separation during both growth and sporulation.The EMBO Journal 12/2006; 25(24):5919-31. · 9.82 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Bacillus anthracis is the etiologic agent of anthrax, an acute fatal disease among mammals. It was thought to differ from Bacillus cereus, an opportunistic pathogen and cause of food poisoning, by the presence of plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, which encode the lethal toxin complex and the poly-gamma-d-glutamic acid capsule, respectively. This work describes a non-B. anthracis isolate that possesses the anthrax toxin genes and is capable of causing a severe inhalation anthrax-like illness. Although initial phenotypic and 16S rRNA analysis identified this isolate as B. cereus, the rapid generation and analysis of a high-coverage draft genome sequence revealed the presence of a circular plasmid, named pBCXO1, with 99.6% similarity with the B. anthracis toxin-encoding plasmid, pXO1. Although homologues of the pXO2 encoded capsule genes were not found, a polysaccharide capsule cluster is encoded on a second, previously unidentified plasmid, pBC218. A/J mice challenged with B. cereus G9241 confirmed the virulence of this strain. These findings represent an example of how genomics could rapidly assist public health experts responding not only to clearly identified select agents but also to novel agents with similar pathogenic potentials. In this study, we combined a public health approach with genome analysis to provide insight into the correlation of phenotypic characteristics and their genetic basis.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2004; 101(22):8449-54. · 9.74 Impact Factor
Article: Bacterial mitotic machineries.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Here, we review recent progress that yields fundamental new insight into the molecular mechanisms behind plasmid and chromosome segregation in prokaryotic cells. In particular, we describe how prokaryotic actin homologs form mitotic machineries that segregate DNA before cell division. Thus, the ParM protein of plasmid R1 forms F actin-like filaments that separate and move plasmid DNA from mid-cell to the cell poles. Evidence from three different laboratories indicate that the morphogenetic MreB protein may be involved in segregation of the bacterial chromosome.Cell 03/2004; 116(3):359-66. · 31.96 Impact Factor