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Post-replicative pairing of sister ter regions in Escherichia coli involves multiple activities of MatP

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Tardin, Catherine 
Lablaine, Armand 


Abstract: The ter region of the bacterial chromosome, where replication terminates, is the last to be segregated before cell division in Escherichia coli. Delayed segregation is controlled by the MatP protein, which binds to specific sites (matS) within ter, and interacts with other proteins such as ZapB. Here, we investigate the role of MatP by combining short-time mobility analyses of the ter locus with biochemical approaches. We find that ter mobility is similar to that of a non ter locus, except when sister ter loci are paired after replication. This effect depends on MatP, the persistence of catenanes, and ZapB. We characterise MatP/DNA complexes and conclude that MatP binds DNA as a tetramer, but bridging matS sites in a DNA-rich environment remains infrequent. We propose that tetramerisation of MatP links matS sites with ZapB and/or with non-specific DNA to promote optimal pairing of sister ter regions until cell division.


Funder: Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier (University of Toulouse III Paul Sabatier); doi:


Article, /631/326/41, /631/326/88, /631/337/641/2358, /631/337/641/2002, /14/63, /14, /14/35, /9, article

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Nature Communications

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Nature Publishing Group UK
Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) (RGY0070/2014, RGY0070/2014)