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Mol Microbiol. 1990 Sep;4(9):1455-63.

A family of ATPases involved in active partitioning of diverse bacterial plasmids.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK.


Low copy-number bacterial plasmids F (the classical Escherichia coli sex factor) and prophage P1 encode partitioning functions which may provide fundamental insights into the active processes which ensure that bacterial genomes are segregated to both daughter cells prior to cell division. These partitioning systems involve two proteins: ParA and ParB. We report that incC from the broad host-range plasmid RK2 is a member of the family of ParA partitioning proteins and that these proteins (as well as related proteins encoded by plasmids from Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Chlamydia trachomatis) contain type I nucleotide-binding motifs. Also, we show that the cell division inhibitor MinD is homologous to members of the ParA family. Sequence comparisons of ParB proteins suggest that they may contain sites for phosphorylation. We propose that ATP hydrolysis by the ParA protein may result in phosphorylation of the ParB protein, thereby causing a conformational shift necessary to separate paired plasmid molecules at the cell division plane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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