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Structural analysis of the ParR/parC plasmid partition complex

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Kenn Gerdes


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Accurate DNA partition at cell division is vital to all living organisms. In bacteria, this process can involve partition loci, which are found on both chromosomes and plasmids. The initial step in Escherichia coli plasmid R1 partition involves the formation of a partition complex between the DNA-binding protein ParR and its cognate centromere site parC on the DNA. The partition complex is recognized by a second partition protein, the actin-like ATPase ParM, which forms filaments required for the active bidirectional movement of DNA replicates. Here, we present the 2.8 Å crystal structure of ParR from E. coli plasmid pB171. ParR forms a tight dimer resembling a large family of dimeric ribbon-helix-helix (RHH)2 site-specific DNA-binding proteins. Crystallographic and electron microscopic data further indicate that ParR dimers assemble into a helix structure with DNA-binding sites facing outward. Genetic and biochemical experiments support a structural arrangement in which the centromere-like parC DNA is wrapped around a ParR protein scaffold. This structure holds implications for how ParM polymerization drives active DNA transport during plasmid partition. © 2007 European Molecular Biology Organization | All Rights Reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moller-Jensen J, Ringgaard S, Mercogliano CP, Gerdes K, Lowe J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: EMBO Journal

Year: 2007

Volume: 26

Issue: 20

Pages: 4413-4422

ISSN (print): 0261-4189

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2075

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7601864

PubMed id: 17898804


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Funder referenceFunder name
MC_U105184326Medical Research Council