Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
BACKGROUND: Initiation of chromosome replication in E. coli requires the DnaA and DnaC proteins and conditionally-lethal dnaA and dnaC mutants are often used to synchronize cell populations.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: DNA microarrays were used to measure mRNA steady-state levels in initiation-deficient dnaA46 and dnaC2 bacteria at permissive and non-permissive temperatures and their expression profiles were compared to MG1655 wildtype cells. For both mutants there was altered expression of genes involved in nucleotide biosynthesis at the non-permissive temperature. Transcription of the dnaA and dnaC genes was increased at the non-permissive temperature in the respective mutant strains indicating auto-regulation of both genes. Induction of the SOS regulon was observed in dnaC2 cells at 38 degrees C and 42 degrees C. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that dnaC2 mutant cells at non-permissive temperature had completed the early stages of chromosome replication initiation.
CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We suggest that in dnaC2 cells the SOS response is triggered by persistent open-complex formation at oriC and/or by arrested forks that require DnaC for replication restart.
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Citation: PLoS ONE. 2008 Aug 20;3(8):e2984. Link to article on publisher's site