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    Asymmetric cell division generates two daughter cells with distinct characteristics and fates. Positioning different regulatory and signaling proteins at the opposing ends of the predivisional cell produces molecularly distinct daughter cells. Here, we report a strategy deployed by the asymmetrically dividing bacterium Caulobacter crescentus where a regulatory protein is programmed to perform distinct functions at the opposing cell poles. We find that the CtrA proteolysis adaptor protein PopA assumes distinct oligomeric states at the two cell poles through asymmetrically distributed c-di-GMP: dimeric at the stalked pole and monomeric at the swarmer pole. Different polar organizing proteins at each cell pole recruit PopA where it interacts with and mediates the function of two molecular machines: the ClpXP degradation machinery at the stalked pole and the flagellar basal body at the swarmer pole. We discovered a binding partner of PopA at the swarmer cell pole that together with PopA regulates the length of the flagella filament. Our work demonstrates how a second messenger provides spatiotemporal cues to change the physical behavior of an effector protein, thereby facilitating asymmetry. Copyright © 2021 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.


    Jiarui Wang, W E Moerner, Lucy Shapiro. A localized adaptor protein performs distinct functions at the Caulobacter cell poles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2021 Mar 30;118(13)

    PMID: 33753507

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