Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 1990 Jul 13;62(1):127-33.

Role of DNA superhelicity in partitioning of the pSC101 plasmid.

Author information

Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5120.


Previous work has shown that a cis-acting locus (termed par for partitioning) on the pSC101 plasmid accomplishes its stable inheritance in dividing cell populations. We report here that the DNA of pSC101 derivatives lacking the par region shows a decrease in overall superhelical density as compared with DNA of wild-type pSC101. Chemicals and bacterial mutations that reduce negative DNA supercoiling increase the rate of loss of par plasmids and convert normally stable plasmids that have minimal par region deletions into unstable replicons. topA gene mutations, which increase negative DNA supercoiling, reverse the instability of partition-defective plasmids that utilize the pSC101, p15A, F, or oriC replication systems. Our observations show that the extent of negative supercoiling of plasmid DNA has major effects on the plasmid's inheritance and suggest a mechanism by which the pSC101 par region may exert its stabilizing effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center