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Microbiology. 2007 Dec;153(Pt 12):4050-60.

Characterization of the mycobacterial chromosome segregation protein ParB and identification of its target in Mycobacterium smegmatis.

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  • 1Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Weigla 12, 53-114 Wrocław, Poland.


Bacterial chromosomes (though not Escherichia coli and some other gamma-proteobacterial chromosomes) contain parS sequences and parAB genes encoding partitioning proteins, i.e. ParA (ATPase) and ParB (DNA-binding proteins) that are components of the segregation machinery. Here, mycobacterial parABS elements were characterized for the first time. parAB genes are not essential in Mycobacterium smegmatis; however, elimination or overexpression of ParB protein causes growth inhibition. Deletion of parB also leads to a rather severe chromosome segregation defect: up to 10% of the cells were anucleate. Mycobacterial ParB protein uses three oriC-proximal parS sequences as targets to organize the origin region into a compact nucleoprotein complex. Formation of such a complex involves ParB-ParB interactions and is assisted by ParA protein.

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