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Cell cycle regulation by the bacterial nucleoid

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Adams, Dr Ling Juan Wu, Professor Jeff ErringtonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Division site selection presents a fundamental challenge to all organisms. Bacterial cells are small and the chromosome (nucleoid) often fills most of the cell volume. Thus, in order to maximise fitness and avoid damaging the genetic material, cell division must be tightly co-ordinated with chromosome replication and segregation. To achieve this, bacteria employ a number of different mechanisms to regulate division site selection. One such mechanism, termed nucleoid occlusion, allows the nucleoid to protect itself by acting as a template for nucleoid occlusion factors, which prevent Z-ring assembly over the DNA. These factors are sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins that exploit the precise organisation of the nucleoid, allowing them to act as both spatial and temporal regulators of bacterial cell division. The identification of proteins responsible for this process has provided a molecular understanding of nucleoid occlusion but it has also prompted the realisation that substantial levels of redundancy exist between the diverse systems that bacteria employ to ensure that division occurs in the right place, at the right time.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Adams DW, Wu LJ, Errington J

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current Opinion in Microbiology

Year: 2014

Volume: 22

Pages: 94-101

Print publication date: 01/12/2014

Online publication date: 17/10/2014

ISSN (print): 1369-5274

ISSN (electronic): 1879-0364



DOI: 10.1016/j.mib.2014.09.020