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    We searched for regulators of chromosome replication in the cell cycle model Caulobacter crescentus and found a novel DNA-binding protein (GapR) that selectively aids the initiation of chromosome replication and the initial steps of chromosome partitioning. The protein binds the chromosome origin of replication (Cori) and has higher-affinity binding to mutated Cori-DNA that increases Cori-plasmid replication in vivo. gapR gene expression is essential for normal rapid growth and sufficient GapR levels are required for the correct timing of chromosome replication. Whole genome ChIP-seq identified dynamic DNA-binding distributions for GapR, with the strongest associations at the partitioning (parABS) locus near Cori. Using molecular-genetic and fluorescence microscopy experiments, we showed that GapR also promotes the first steps of chromosome partitioning, the initial separation of the duplicated parS loci following replication from Cori. This separation occurs before the parABS-dependent partitioning phase. Therefore, this early separation, whose mechanisms is not known, coincides with the poorly defined mechanism(s) that establishes chromosome asymmetry: C. crescentus chromosomes are partitioned to distinct cell-poles which develop into replicating and non-replicating cell-types. We propose that GapR coordinates chromosome replication with asymmetry-establishing chromosome separation, noting that both roles are consistent with the phylogenetic restriction of GapR to asymmetrically dividing bacteria. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


    James A Taylor, Gaël Panis, Patrick H Viollier, Gregory T Marczynski. A novel nucleoid-associated protein coordinates chromosome replication and chromosome partition. Nucleic acids research. 2017 Sep 06;45(15):8916-8929

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    PMID: 28911105

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