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Genes Dev. 2008 Sep 1;22(17):2426-33. doi: 10.1101/gad.487508.

Modulation of Escherichia coli sister chromosome cohesion by topoisomerase IV.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QU, United Kingdom.


A body of evidence supports the idea that newly replicated Escherichia coli chromosomes segregate progressively as replication progresses, with spatial separation of sister genetic loci occurring approximately 15 min after their replication. We show that the time of this cohesion can be modulated by topoisomerase IV (TopoIV) activity. Impairment of TopoIV prevents segregation of newly replicated sister loci and bulk chromosome segregation, whereas modest increases in TopoIV decrease the cohesion time substantially. Therefore, we propose that precatenanes, which form as replication progresses by interwinding of newly replicated sister chromosomes, are responsible for E. coli sister chromosome cohesion.

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