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Dysfunctional MreB inhibits chromosome segregation in Escherichia coli

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The mechanism of prokaryotic chromosome segregation is not known. MreB, an actin homolog, is a shape-determining factor in rod-shaped prokaryotic cells. Using immunofluorescence microscopy we found that MreB of Escherichia coli formed helical filaments located beneath the cell surface. Flow cytometric and cytological analyses indicated that MreB-depleted cells segregated their chromosomes in pairs, consistent with chromosome cohesion. Overexpression of wild-type MreB inhibited cell division but did not perturb chromosome segregation. Overexpression of mutant forms of MreB inhibited cell division, caused abnormal MreB filament morphology and induced severe localization defects of the nucleoid and of the oriC and terC chromosomal regions. The chromosomal terminus regions appeared cohered in both MreB-depleted cells and in cells overexpressing mutant forms of MreB. Our observations indicate that MreB filaments participate in directional chromosome movement and segregation.

TidsskriftE M B O Journal
Udgave nummer19
Sider (fra-til)5283-92
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 1 okt. 2003

ID: 200972073