Defining a centromere-like element in Bacillus subtilis by identifying the binding sites for the chromosome-anchoring protein RacA

Sigal Ben-Yehuda, Masya Fujita, Xiaole Shirley Liu, Boris Gorbatyuk, Dunja Skoko, Jie Yan, John F. Marko, Jun S. Liu, Patrick Eichenberger, David Z. Rudner, Richard Losick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Chromosome segregation during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis involves the anchoring of sister chromosomes to opposite ends of the cell. Anchoring is mediated by RacA, which acts as a bridge between a centromere-like element in the vicinity of the origin of replication and the cell pole. To define this element we mapped RacA binding sites by performing chromatin immunoprecipitation in conjunction with gene microarray analysis. RacA preferentially bound to 25 regions spread over 612 kb across the origin portion of the chromosome. Computational and biochemical analysis identified a GC-rich, inverted 14 bp repeat as the recognition sequence. Experiments with single molecules of DNA demonstrated that RacA can condense nonspecific DNA dramatically against appreciable forces to form a highly stable protein-DNA complex. We propose that interactions between DNA bound RacA molecules cause the centromere-like element to fold up into a higher order complex that fastens the chromosome to the cell pole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-782
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Cell
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 18 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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    Ben-Yehuda, S., Fujita, M., Liu, X. S., Gorbatyuk, B., Skoko, D., Yan, J., Marko, J. F., Liu, J. S., Eichenberger, P., Rudner, D. Z., & Losick, R. (2005). Defining a centromere-like element in Bacillus subtilis by identifying the binding sites for the chromosome-anchoring protein RacA. Molecular Cell, 17(6), 773-782. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2005.02.023