Dynamic movement of the ParA-like Soj protein of B. subtilis and its dual role in nucleoid organization and developmental regulation

Mol Cell. 1999 Nov;4(5):673-82. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)80378-0.


The Spo0J and Soj proteins of B. subtilis belong to a widespread family of bacterial proteins required for accurate segregation of plasmids and chromosomes. Spo0J binds to several sites around the oriC region of the chromosome, which are organized into compact foci that may play a centromere-like role in active chromosome segregation. We now show that Soj has a role in organization or compaction of Spo0J-oriC complexes and possibly other regions of the nucleoid. This activity is accompanied by a dynamic localization pattern in which Soj protein undergoes assembly and disassembly into large nucleoid-associated patches on a timescale of minutes. The dynamic behavior of Soj, like its previously described transcriptional repression activity, is controlled by Spo0J. These interactions may constitute a checkpoint coupling developmental transcription to cell cycle progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / cytology*
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics
  • Bacillus subtilis / growth & development*
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Polarity / drug effects
  • Centromere / chemistry
  • Centromere / genetics
  • Centromere / metabolism
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / chemistry
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins*
  • DNA, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Nalidixic Acid / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Replication Origin / genetics
  • Sigma Factor*
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • FtsZ protein, Bacteria
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Sigma Factor
  • Transcription Factors
  • chromosome partition proteins, bacterial
  • spoIIR protein, Bacillus subtilis
  • spore-specific proteins, Bacillus
  • Nalidixic Acid