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J Bacteriol. 2006 Mar;188(5):1710-20.

Developmental control of a parAB promoter leads to formation of sporulation-associated ParB complexes in Streptomyces coelicolor.

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Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Weigla 12, 53-114 Wrocław, Poland.


The Streptomyces coelicolor partitioning protein ParB binds to numerous parS sites in the oriC-proximal part of the linear chromosome. ParB binding results in the formation of large complexes, which behave differentially during the complex life cycle (D. Jakimowicz, B. Gust, J. Zakrzewska-Czerwinska, and K. F. Chater, J. Bacteriol. 187:3572-3580, 2005). Here we have analyzed the transcriptional regulation that underpins this developmentally specific behavior. Analysis of promoter mutations showed that the irregularly spaced complexes present in vegetative hyphae are dependent on the constitutive parABp(1) promoter, while sporulation-specific induction of the promoter parABp(2) is required for the assembly of arrays of ParB complexes in aerial hyphae and thus is necessary for efficient chromosome segregation. Expression from parABp(2) depended absolutely on two sporulation regulatory genes, whiA and whiB, and partially on two others, whiH and whiI, all four of which are needed for sporulation septation. Because of this pattern of dependence, we investigated the transcription of these four whi genes in whiA and whiB mutants, revealing significant regulatory interplay between whiA and whiB. A strain in which sporulation septation (but not vegetative septation) was blocked by mutation of a sporulation-specific promoter of ftsZ showed close to wild-type induction of parABp(2) and formed fairly regular ParB-enhanced green fluorescent protein foci in aerial hyphae, ruling out strong morphological coupling or checkpoint regulation between septation and DNA partitioning during sporulation. A model for developmental regulation of parABp(2) expression is presented.

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