H-NS promotes looped domain formation in the bacterial chromosome

Curr Biol. 2007 Nov 6;17(21):R913-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.09.005.


The bacterial chromosome is organized into loops, which constitute topologically isolated domains. It is unclear which proteins are responsible for the formation of the topological barriers between domains. The abundant DNA-binding histone-like nucleoid structuring protein (H-NS) is a key player in the organization and compaction of bacterial chromosomes [1,2]. The protein acts by bridging DNA duplexes [3], thus allowing for the formation of DNA loops. Here, genome-wide studies of H-NS binding suggest that this protein is directly involved in the formation or maintenance of topological domain barriers.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / chemistry
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Salmonella typhimurium / chemistry
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • H-NS protein, bacteria