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J Mol Recognit. 2004 Sep-Oct;17(5):481-7.

Genomic channeling in bacterial cell division.

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Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Campus de Cantoblanco, C/Darwin 3, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


The bacterial dcw cluster is a group of genes involved in cell division and peptidoglycan synthesis. Comparison of the cluster across several bacterial genomes shows that its gene content and its gene order are conserved in distant bacterial lineages and, moreover, that, being most conserved in rod-shaped bacteria, the degree of conservation relates to bacterial morphology. We propose a model in which the selective pressure to maintain the cluster arises from the need to efficiently coordinate the processes of elongation and septation in rod-shaped bacteria. Gene order in the dcw cluster would be conserved as a result of mechanisms comprising: (i) a limited amount of peptidoglycan precursors required both for septation and elongation of the wall; (ii) co-translational assembly of the protein complexes involved in cell division and in the synthesis of the peptidoglycan precursors; and (iii) alternation in the cellular localization of the assembled complexes to participate either in the synthesis of the septal peptidoglycan and division, or in the synthesis of the lateral wall. The name genomic channeling is proposed for this model as it involves a genomic arrangement that could facilitate the assembly of specific protein complexes and their subsequent conveyance to specific locations in the crowded cytoplasm and the envelope.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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