Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Microbiol. 2010 Oct;78(1):78-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07314.x. Epub 2010 Jul 27.

ATP control of dynamic P1 ParA-DNA interactions: a key role for the nucleoid in plasmid partition.

Author information

Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8, Canada.


P1 ParA is a member of the Walker-type family of partition ATPases involved in the segregation of plasmids and bacterial chromosomes. ATPases of this class interact with DNA non-specifically in vitro and colocalize with the bacterial nucleoid to generate a variety of reported patterns in vivo. Here, we directly visualize ParA binding to DNA using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. This activity depends on, and is highly specific for ATP. DNA-binding activity is not coupled to ATP hydrolysis. Rather, ParA undergoes a slow multi-step conformational transition upon ATP binding, which licenses ParA to bind non-specific DNA. The kinetics provide a time-delay switch to allow slow cycling between the DNA binding and non-binding forms of ParA. We propose that this time delay, combined with stimulation of ParA's ATPase activity by ParB bound to the plasmid DNA, generates an uneven distribution of the nucleoid-associated ParA, and provides the motive force for plasmid segregation prior to cell division.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center