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Genes Dev. 1998 May 1;12(9):1254-9.

Characterization of a prokaryotic SMC protein involved in chromosome partitioning.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


smc of Bacillus subtilis encodes a homolog of eukaryotic SMC proteins involved in chromosome condensation, pairing, and partitioning. A null mutation in B. subtilis smc caused a temperature-sensitive-lethal phenotype in rich medium. Under permissive conditions, the mutant had abnormal nucleoids, approximately 10% of the cells were anucleate, and assembly of foci of the chromosome partitioning protein Spo0J was altered. In combination with a null mutation in spo0J, the smc mutation caused a synthetic phenotype; cell growth was slower and approximately 25% of the cells were anucleate. Our results demonstrate that the B. subtilis Smc protein, like its eukaryotic counterpart, plays an important role in chromosome structure and partitioning.

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