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Mol Microbiol. 2003 Sep;49(6):1463-75.

RacA and the Soj-Spo0J system combine to effect polar chromosome segregation in sporulating Bacillus subtilis.

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1
Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3RE, UK.

Abstract

Sporulating cells of Bacillus subtilis undergo a highly polarized cell division and possess a specialized mechanism to move the oriC region of the chromosome close to the cell pole before septation. DivIVA protein, which localizes to the cell pole, and the Soj and Spo0J proteins, which associate with the chromosome, are part of the mechanism that delivers the chromosome to the cell pole. A sporulation-specific protein, RacA, encodes a third DNA-binding protein, which acts in conjunction with Soj and Spo0J to effect efficient polar chromosome segregation. divIVA mutants and soj racA double mutants have an unexpected phenotype in which specific markers to the left and right of oriC can be captured in the prespore compartment but the central oriC region is efficiently excluded. This 'residual' trapping requires Spo0J protein. We suggest that the Soj RacA DivIVA system is required to extract the oriC region from its position determined by the vegetative chromosome segregation machinery and anchor it to the cell pole.

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