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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Feb;4(2):133-43.

The bacterial segrosome: a dynamic nucleoprotein machine for DNA trafficking and segregation.

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Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Jackson's Mill, PO BOX 88, Sackville Street, Manchester M60 1QD, UK.


The genomes of unicellular and multicellular organisms must be partitioned equitably in coordination with cytokinesis to ensure faithful transmission of duplicated genetic material to daughter cells. Bacteria use sophisticated molecular mechanisms to guarantee accurate segregation of both plasmids and chromosomes at cell division. Plasmid segregation is most commonly mediated by a Walker-type ATPase and one of many DNA-binding proteins that assemble on a cis-acting centromere to form a nucleoprotein complex (the segrosome) that mediates intracellular plasmid transport. Bacterial chromosome segregation involves a multipartite strategy in which several discrete protein complexes potentially participate. Shedding light on the basis of genome segregation in bacteria could indicate new strategies aimed at combating pathogenic and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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