Co-evolution of segregation guide DNA motifs and the FtsK translocase in bacteria: identification of the atypical Lactococcus lactis KOPS motif

Sophie Nolivos, Fabrice Touzain, Carine Pages, Michele Coddeville, Philippe Rousseau, Meriem El Karoui, Pascal Le Bourgeois, Francois Cornet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bacteria use the global bipolarization of their chromosomes into replichores to control the dynamics and segregation of their genome during the cell cycle. This involves the control of protein activities by recognition of specific short DNA motifs whose orientation along the chromosome is highly skewed. The KOPS motifs act in chromosome segregation by orienting the activity of the FtsK DNA translocase towards the terminal replichore junction. KOPS motifs have been identified in gamma-Proteobacteria and in Bacillus subtilis as closely related G-rich octamers. We have identified the KOPS motif of Lactococcus lactis, a model bacteria of the Streptococcaceae family harbouring a compact and low GC% genome. This motif, 5'-GAAGAAG-3, was predicted in silico using the occurrence and skew characteristics of known KOPS motifs. We show that it is specifically recognized by L. lactis FtsK in vitro and controls its activity in vivo. L. lactis KOPS is thus an A-rich heptamer motif. Our results show that KOPS-controlled chromosome segregation is conserved in Streptococcaceae but that KOPS may show important variation in sequence and length between bacterial families. This suggests that FtsK adapts to its host genome by selecting motifs with convenient occurrence frequencies and orientation skews to orient its activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5535-5545
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume40
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

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