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Cell. 2004 Feb 6;116(3):359-66.

Bacterial mitotic machineries.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.


Here, we review recent progress that yields fundamental new insight into the molecular mechanisms behind plasmid and chromosome segregation in prokaryotic cells. In particular, we describe how prokaryotic actin homologs form mitotic machineries that segregate DNA before cell division. Thus, the ParM protein of plasmid R1 forms F actin-like filaments that separate and move plasmid DNA from mid-cell to the cell poles. Evidence from three different laboratories indicate that the morphogenetic MreB protein may be involved in segregation of the bacterial chromosome.

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