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SMC complexes sweeping through the chromosome: going with the flow and against the tide
- Gruber, Stephan
- Current opinion in microbiology 2018 v.42 pp. 96-103
- DNA, DNA damage, DNA replication, bacteria, cell viability, chromosome segregation, chromosome translocation, chromosomes, genome, transcription (genetics)
- Bacteria transcribe, duplicate and segregate their genomes all at once. Conflicts between DNA replication and active transcription are a major source of DNA damage and jeopardize genome integrity and cell survival. Co-orientation of replication forks and transcription units is thought to reduce the impact of such conflicts. Like transcription and replication, chromosome segregation relies on the translocation of multi-subunit protein complexes along DNA. Here, I highlight recent advances in our understanding of two major classes of structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) complexes in bacteria: Smc-ScpAB, whose DNA translocation is co-oriented with DNA replication by specific start sites, and MukBEF, which apparently lacks such co-ordination. Potential advantages of centralized and decentralized approaches to chromosome organization are discussed.