Dynamic association of the replication initiator and transcription factor DnaA with the Bacillus subtilis chromosome during replication stress

J Bacteriol. 2009 Jan;191(2):486-93. doi: 10.1128/JB.01294-08. Epub 2008 Nov 14.


DnaA functions as both a transcription factor and the replication initiator in bacteria. We characterized the DNA binding dynamics of DnaA on a genomic level. Based on cross-linking and chromatin immunoprecipitation data, DnaA binds at least 17 loci, 15 of which are regulated transcriptionally in response to inhibition of replication (replication stress). Six loci, each of which has a cluster of at least nine potential DnaA binding sites, had significant increases in binding by DnaA when replication was inhibited, indicating that the association of DnaA with at least some of its target sites is altered after replication stress. When replication resumed from oriC after inhibition of replication initiation, these high levels of binding decreased rapidly at origin-proximal and origin-distal regions, well before a replication fork could pass through each of the regulated regions. These findings indicate that there is rapid signaling to decrease activation of DnaA during replication and that interaction between DnaA bound at each site and the replication machinery is not required for regulation of DnaA activity in response to replication stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Binding Sites
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / metabolism
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Replication Origin*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DnaA protein, Bacteria