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Cell. 2010 Jun 11;141(6):927-42. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.05.033.

Pushing and pulling in prokaryotic DNA segregation.

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Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK.


In prokaryotes, DNA can be segregated by three different types of cytoskeletal filaments. The best-understood type of partitioning (par) locus encodes an actin homolog called ParM, which forms dynamically unstable filaments that push plasmids apart in a process reminiscent of mitosis. However, the most common type of par locus, which is present on many plasmids and most bacterial chromosomes, encodes a P loop ATPase (ParA) that distributes plasmids equidistant from one another on the bacterial nucleoid. A third type of par locus encodes a tubulin homolog (TubZ) that forms cytoskeletal filaments that move rapidly with treadmill dynamics.

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