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Science. 2002 Jan 4;295(5552):137-9.

Role of cell-specific SpoIIIE assembly in polarity of DNA transfer.

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  • 1Division of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0349, USA.


SpoIIIE mediates postseptational chromosome partitioning in Bacillus subtilis, but the mechanism controlling the direction of DNA transfer remains obscure. Here, we demonstrated that SpoIIIE acts as a DNA exporter: When SpoIIIE was synthesized in the larger of the two cells necessary for sporulation, the mother cell, DNA was translocated into the smaller forespore; however, when it was synthesized in the forespore, DNA was translocated into the mother cell. Furthermore, the DNA-tracking domain of SpoIIIE inhibited SpoIIIE complex assembly in the forespore. Thus, during sporulation, chromosome partitioning is controlled by the preferential assembly of SpoIIIE in one daughter cell.

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