Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35212387
Link to DOI – 10.1093/nar/gkac105
Nucleic Acids Res 2022 03; 50(5): 2635-2650
In bacteria, chromosome segregation occurs progressively from the origin to terminus within minutes of replication of each locus. Between replication and segregation, sister loci are held in an apparent cohesive state by topological links. The decatenation activity of topoisomerase IV (Topo IV) is required for segregation of replicated loci, yet little is known about the structuring of the chromosome maintained in a cohesive state. In this work, we investigated chromosome folding in cells with altered decatenation activities. Within minutes after Topo IV inactivation, massive chromosome reorganization occurs, associated with increased in contacts between nearby loci, likely trans-contacts between sister chromatids, and in long-range contacts between the terminus and distant loci. We deciphered the respective roles of Topo III, MatP and MukB when TopoIV activity becomes limiting. Topo III reduces short-range inter-sister contacts suggesting its activity near replication forks. MatP, the terminus macrodomain organizing system, and MukB, the Escherichia coli SMC, promote long-range contacts with the terminus. We propose that the large-scale conformational changes observed under these conditions reveal defective decatenation attempts involving the terminus area. Our results support a model of spatial and temporal partitioning of the tasks required for sister chromosome segregation.