DOI: 10.1101/459685Nov 1, 2018Paper

A DNA-binding protein tunes septum placement during Bacillus subtilis sporulation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Emily E BrownJennifer K Herman


Bacillus subtilis is a soil bacterium capable of differentiating into a spore form resistant to desiccation, UV radiation, and heat. Early in spore development the cell possesses two copies of a circular chromosome, anchored to opposite cell poles via DNA proximal to the origin of replication (oriC). As sporulation progresses an FtsZ ring (Z-ring) assembles close to one pole and directs septation over one chromosome. The polar division generates two cell compartments with differing chromosomal contents. The smaller “forespore” compartment initially contains only 25-30% of one chromosome and this transient genetic asymmetry is required for differentiation. At the population level, the timely assembly of polar Z-rings and the precise capture of the chromosome in the forespore both require RefZ, a DNA-binding protein synthesized early in sporulation. To mediate precise capture of the chromosome RefZ must bind to specific DNA motifs (RBMs) that are localized near the poles around the time of septation, suggesting RefZ binds to the RBMs to affect positioning of the septum relative to the chromosome. RefZ’s mechanism of action is unknown, however, cells artificially induced to express RefZ during vegetative growth cannot assemble Z-r...Continue Reading

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