Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29358050
Cell 2018 Jan;
As in eukaryotes, bacterial genomes are not randomly folded. Bacterial genetic information is generally carried on a circular chromosome with a single origin of replication from which two replication forks proceed bidirectionally toward the opposite terminus region. Here, we investigate the higher-order architecture of the Escherichia coli genome, showing its partition into two structurally distinct entities by a complex and intertwined network of contacts: the replication terminus (ter) region and the rest of the chromosome. Outside of ter, the condensin MukBEF and the ubiquitous nucleoid-associated protein (NAP) HU promote DNA contacts in the megabase range. Within ter, the MatP protein prevents MukBEF activity, and contacts are restricted to ∼280 kb, creating a domain with distinct structural properties. We also show how other NAPs contribute to nucleoid organization, such as H-NS, which restricts short-range interactions. Combined, these results reveal the contributions of major evolutionarily conserved proteins in a bacterial chromosome organization.