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EMBO J. 2000 Nov 15;19(22):6249-58.

A case for sliding SeqA tracts at anchored replication forks during Escherichia coli chromosome replication and segregation.

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Gene Regulation and Chromosome Biology Laboratory, Division of Basic Sciences, NCI-Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Frederick, MD 21702-1201, USA.


SeqA is an Escherichia coli DNA-binding protein that acts at replication origins and controls DNA replication. However, binding is not exclusive to origins. Many fragments containing two or more hemi-methylated GATC sequences bind efficiently. Binding was optimal when two such sequences were closely apposed or up to 31 bases apart on the same face of the DNA helix. Binding studies suggest that neighboring bound proteins contact each other to form a complex with the intervening DNA looped out. There are many potential binding sites distributed around the E.coli chromosome. As replication produces a transient wave of hemi-methylation, tracts of SeqA binding are likely to associate with each fork as replication progresses. The number and positions of green fluorescent protein-SeqA foci seen in living cells suggest that they correspond to these tracts, and that the forks are tethered to planes of cell division. SeqA may help to tether the forks or to organize newly replicated DNA into a structure that aids DNA to segregate away from the replication machinery.

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