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Mol Microbiol. 2001 Nov;42(3):741-55.

The chromosome partitioning protein, ParB, is required for cytokinesis in Caulobacter crescentus.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


In Caulobacter crescentus, the genes encoding the chromosome partitioning proteins, ParA and ParB, are essential. Depletion of ParB resulted in smooth filamentous cells in which DNA replication continued. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that the formation of FtsZ rings at the mid-cell, the earliest molecular event in the initiation of bacterial cell division, was blocked in cells lacking ParB. ParB binds sequences near the C. crescentus origin of replication. Cell cycle experiments show that the formation of bipolarly localized ParB foci, and presumably localization of the origin of replication to the cell poles, preceded the formation of FtsZ rings at the mid-cell by 20 min. These results suggest that one major function of ParA and ParB may be to regulate the initiation of cytokinesis in C. crescentus.

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