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Suppression of chromosome segregation defects of Escherichia coli muk mutants by mutations in topoisomerase I

By James A. Sawitzke and Stuart Austin


Escherichia coli muk mutants are temperature-sensitive and produce anucleate cells. A spontaneously occurring mutation was found in a ΔmukB∷kan mutant strain that suppressed the temperature-sensitive phenotype and mapped in or near topA, the gene that encodes topoisomerase I. Previously characterized topA mutations, topA10 and topA66, were found to be general suppressors of muk mutants: they suppressed temperature sensitivity and anucleate cell production of cells containing null or point mutations in mukB and null mutations in mukE or mukF. The suppression correlated with excess negative supercoiling by DNA gyrase, and the gyrase inhibitor, coumermycin, reversed it. Defects in topA allow 99% of cell division events in muk null mutants to proceed without chromosome loss or loss of cell viability. This observation imposes important limitations on models for Muk activity and is consistent with a role for MukBEF in chromosome folding and DNA condensation

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: The National Academy of Sciences
Year: 2000
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.030528397
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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