Grad student, Caltech
E coli chromosome needs to be compressed 1000 fold to be fit into the cell. How the chromosome is compressed and organized, while maintains its biological functions, such as replication and transcription is largely unknown. Here, we tried to image the chromosome configuration by using highly multiplexed DNA FISH method developed in our lab.
Abstract: Bacterial chromosomes are organized in stereotypical patterns that are faithfully and robustly regenerated in daughter cells. Two distinct spatial patterns were described almost a decade ago in our most tractable model organisms. In recent years, analysis of chromosome organization in a larger and more diverse set of bacteria and a deeper characterization of chromosome dynamics in the original model systems have provided a broader and more complete picture of both chromosome organization and the activities that generate the observed spatial patterns. Here, we summarize these different patterns highlighting similarities and differences and discuss the protein factors that help establish and maintain them.
Pub.: 03 Dec '14, Pinned: 27 Jun '17
Abstract: Bacterial chromosomes have been found to possess one of two distinct patterns of spatial organization. In the first, called "ori-ter" and exemplified by Caulobacter crescentus, the chromosome arms lie side-by-side, with the replication origin and terminus at opposite cell poles. In the second, observed in slow-growing Escherichia coli ("left-ori-right"), the two chromosome arms reside in separate cell halves, on either side of a centrally located origin. These two patterns, rotated 90° relative to each other, appear to result from different segregation mechanisms. Here, we show that the Bacillus subtilis chromosome alternates between them. For most of the cell cycle, newly replicated origins are maintained at opposite poles with chromosome arms adjacent to each other, in an ori-ter configuration. Shortly after replication initiation, the duplicated origins move as a unit to midcell and the two unreplicated arms resolve into opposite cell halves, generating a left-ori-right pattern. The origins are then actively segregated toward opposite poles, resetting the cycle. Our data suggest that the condensin complex and the parABS partitioning system are the principal driving forces underlying this oscillatory cycle. We propose that the distinct organization patterns observed for bacterial chromosomes reflect a common organization-segregation mechanism, and that simple modifications to it underlie the unique patterns observed in different species.
Pub.: 30 Jul '14, Pinned: 27 Jun '17
Abstract: Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) complexes play critical roles in chromosome dynamics in virtually all organisms, but how they function remains poorly understood. In the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, SMC-condensin complexes are topologically loaded at centromeric sites adjacent to the replication origin. Here we provide evidence that these ring-shaped assemblies tether the left and right chromosome arms together while traveling from the origin to the terminus (>2 megabases) at rates >50 kilobases per minute. Condensin movement scales linearly with time, providing evidence for an active transport mechanism. These data support a model in which SMC complexes function by processively enlarging DNA loops. Loop formation followed by processive enlargement provides a mechanism by which condensin complexes compact and resolve sister chromatids in mitosis and by which cohesin generates topologically associating domains during interphase.
Pub.: 06 Feb '17, Pinned: 27 Jun '17