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The actin-like MreB cytoskeleton organizes viral DNA replication in bacteria

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard DanielORCiD, Dr Yoshikazu Kawai, Professor Jeff ErringtonORCiD


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Little is known about the organization or proteins involved in membrane-associated replication of prokaryotic genomes. Here we show that the actin-like MreB cytoskeleton of the distantly related bacteria Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis is required for efficient viral DNA replication. Detailed analyses of B. subtilis phage phi 29 showed that the MreB cytoskeleton plays a crucial role in organizing phage DNA replication at the membrane. Thus, phage double-stranded DNA and components of the phi 29 replication machinery localize in peripheral helix-like structures in a cytoskeleton-dependent way. Importantly, we show that MreB interacts directly with the phi 29 membrane-protein p16.7, responsible for attaching viral DNA at the cell membrane. Altogether, the results reveal another function for the MreB cytoskeleton and describe a mechanism by which viral DNA replication is organized at the bacterial membrane.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Muñoz-Espín D, Daniel R, Kawai Y, Carballido-López R, Castilla-Llorente V, Errington J, Meijer WJJ, Salas M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Year: 2009

Volume: 106

Issue: 32

Pages: 13347-13352

ISSN (print): 0027-8424

ISSN (electronic): 1091-6490

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences


DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906465106


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Funder referenceFunder name
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Spanish Ministry of Education and Science
Spanish National Research Council
Fundacion Ramon Areces
Human Frontier Science Program
2010 24717Spanish Ministry of Education and Science
BFU2005-01878Spanish Ministry of Education and Science
BFU2005-00733Spanish Ministry of Education and Science
BFU2008-00215Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation