Identification and characterization of a bacterial chromosome partitioning site

Cell. 1998 Mar 6;92(5):675-85. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81135-6.


We have identified a DNA site involved in chromosome partitioning in B. subtilis. This site was identified in vivo as the binding site for the chromosome partitioning protein Spo0J, a member of the ParB family of partitioning proteins. Spo0J is a site-specific DNA-binding protein that recognizes a 16 bp sequence found in spo0J. Allowing two mismatches, this sequence occurs ten times in the entire B. subtilis chromosome, all in the origin-proximal approximately 20%. Eight of the ten sequences are bound to Spo0J in vivo. The presence of a site on an otherwise unstable plasmid stabilized the plasmid in a Spo0J-dependent manner, demonstrating that this site, called parS, can function as a partitioning site. This site and Spo0J are conserved in a wide range of bacterial species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Consensus Sequence / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Dosage
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Sigma Factor*
  • Transcription Factors*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Sigma Factor
  • Transcription Factors
  • spoIIR protein, Bacillus subtilis
  • spore-specific proteins, Bacillus