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Genes Dev. 2012 Oct 15;26(20):2348-60. doi: 10.1101/gad.199869.112.

A multidomain hub anchors the chromosome segregation and chemotactic machinery to the bacterial pole.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The cell poles constitute key subcellular domains that are often critical for motility, chemotaxis, and chromosome segregation in rod-shaped bacteria. However, in nearly all rods, the processes that underlie the formation, recognition, and perpetuation of the polar domains are largely unknown. Here, in Vibrio cholerae, we identified HubP (hub of the pole), a polar transmembrane protein conserved in all vibrios, that anchors three ParA-like ATPases to the cell poles and, through them, controls polar localization of the chromosome origin, the chemotactic machinery, and the flagellum. In the absence of HubP, oriCI is not targeted to the cell poles, chemotaxis is impaired, and a small but increased fraction of cells produces multiple, rather than single, flagella. Distinct cytoplasmic domains within HubP are required for polar targeting of the three ATPases, while a periplasmic portion of HubP is required for its localization. HubP partially relocalizes from the poles to the mid-cell prior to cell division, thereby enabling perpetuation of the polar domain in future daughter cells. Thus, a single polar hub is instrumental for establishing polar identity and organization.

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