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Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 8;8:14665. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14665.

Defined chromosome structure in the genome-reduced bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Author information

1
EMBL/CRG Systems Biology Research Unit, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Dr Aiguader 88, Barcelona 08003, Spain.
2
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
3
Gene Regulation, Stem Cells and Cancer Program. Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Dr Aiguader 88, Barcelona 08003, Spain.
4
CNAG-CRG, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Baldiri Reixac 4, Barcelona 08028, Spain.
5
Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University, 558-8585 Osaka, Japan.
6
OCU Advanced Research Institute for Natural Science and Technology (OCARNA), Osaka City University, 558-8585 Osaka, Japan.
7
Advanced Light Microscopy Unit, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
8
The ithree Institute, The University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2007, Australia.
9
Department of Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, 82152, Martinsried, Germany.
10
Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

DNA-binding proteins are central regulators of chromosome organization; however, in genome-reduced bacteria their diversity is largely diminished. Whether the chromosomes of such bacteria adopt defined three-dimensional structures remains unexplored. Here we combine Hi-C and super-resolution microscopy to determine the structure of the Mycoplasma pneumoniae chromosome at a 10 kb resolution. We find a defined structure, with a global symmetry between two arms that connect opposite poles, one bearing the chromosomal Ori and the other the midpoint. Analysis of local structures at a 3 kb resolution indicates that the chromosome is organized into domains ranging from 15 to 33 kb. We provide evidence that genes within the same domain tend to be co-regulated, suggesting that chromosome organization influences transcriptional regulation, and that supercoiling regulates local organization. This study extends the current understanding of bacterial genome organization and demonstrates that a defined chromosomal structure is a universal feature of living systems.

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