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      The bacterial segrosome: a dynamic nucleoprotein machine for DNA trafficking and segregation.

      Nature reviews. Microbiology
      Genome, Bacterial, Amino Acid Sequence, Bacteria, genetics, metabolism, Bacterial Proteins, physiology, Molecular Sequence Data, Nucleoproteins, Sequence Alignment

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          Abstract

          The genomes of unicellular and multicellular organisms must be partitioned equitably in coordination with cytokinesis to ensure faithful transmission of duplicated genetic material to daughter cells. Bacteria use sophisticated molecular mechanisms to guarantee accurate segregation of both plasmids and chromosomes at cell division. Plasmid segregation is most commonly mediated by a Walker-type ATPase and one of many DNA-binding proteins that assemble on a cis-acting centromere to form a nucleoprotein complex (the segrosome) that mediates intracellular plasmid transport. Bacterial chromosome segregation involves a multipartite strategy in which several discrete protein complexes potentially participate. Shedding light on the basis of genome segregation in bacteria could indicate new strategies aimed at combating pathogenic and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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          Bacterial chromosome segregation: structure and DNA binding of the Soj dimer--a conserved biological switch.

          Soj and Spo0J of the Gram-negative hyperthermophile Thermus thermophilus belong to the conserved ParAB family of bacterial proteins implicated in plasmid and chromosome partitioning. Spo0J binds to DNA near the replication origin and localises at the poles following initiation of replication. Soj oscillates in the nucleoid region in an ATP- and Spo0J-dependent fashion. Here, we show that Soj undergoes ATP-dependent dimerisation in solution and forms nucleoprotein filaments with DNA. Crystal structures of Soj in three nucleotide states demonstrate that the empty and ADP-bound states are monomeric, while a hydrolysis-deficient mutant, D44A, is capable of forming a nucleotide 'sandwich' dimer. Soj ATPase activity is stimulated by Spo0J or the N-terminal 20 amino-acid peptide of Spo0J. Our analysis shows that dimerisation and activation involving a peptide containing a Lys/Arg is conserved for Soj, ParA and MinD and their modulators Spo0J, ParB and MinE, respectively. By homology to the nitrogenase iron protein and the GTPases Ffh/FtsY, we suggest that Soj dimerisation and regulation represent a conserved biological switch.
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            A contractile nuclear actin network drives chromosome congression in oocytes.

            Chromosome capture by microtubules is widely accepted as the universal mechanism of spindle assembly in dividing cells. However, the observed length of spindle microtubules and computer simulations of spindle assembly predict that chromosome capture is efficient in small cells, but may fail in cells with large nuclear volumes such as animal oocytes. Here we investigate chromosome congression during the first meiotic division in starfish oocytes. We show that microtubules are not sufficient for capturing chromosomes. Instead, chromosome congression requires actin polymerization. After nuclear envelope breakdown, we observe the formation of a filamentous actin mesh in the nuclear region, and find that contraction of this network delivers chromosomes to the microtubule spindle. We show that this mechanism is essential for preventing chromosome loss and aneuploidy of the egg--a leading cause of pregnancy loss and birth defects in humans.
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              Diverse paths to midcell: assembly of the bacterial cell division machinery.

              At the heart of bacterial cell division is a dynamic ring-like structure of polymers of the tubulin homologue FtsZ. This ring forms a scaffold for assembly of at least ten additional proteins at midcell, the majority of which are likely to be involved in remodeling the peptidoglycan cell wall at the division site. Together with FtsZ, these proteins are thought to form a cell division complex, or divisome. In Escherichia coli, the components of the divisome are recruited to midcell according to a strikingly linear hierarchy that predicts a step-wise assembly pathway. However, recent studies have revealed unexpected complexity in the assembly steps, indicating that the apparent linearity does not necessarily reflect a temporal order. The signals used to recruit cell division proteins to midcell are diverse and include regulated self-assembly, protein-protein interactions, and the recognition of specific septal peptidoglycan substrates. There is also evidence for a complex web of interactions among these proteins and at least one distinct subcomplex of cell division proteins has been defined, which is conserved among E. coli, Bacillus subtilis and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
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