SMC complexes are widely conserved ATP-powered DNA-loop-extrusion motors indispensable for organizing and faithfully segregating chromosomes. How SMC complexes translocate along DNA for loop extrusion and what happens when two complexes meet on the same DNA molecule is largely unknown. Revealing the origins and the consequences of SMC encounters is crucial for understanding the folding process not only of bacterial, but also of eukaryotic chromosomes. Here, we uncover several factors that influence bacterial chromosome organization by modulating the probability of such clashes. These factors include the number, the strength, and the distribution of Smc loading sites, the residency time on the chromosome, the translocation rate, and the cellular abundance of Smc complexes. By studying various mutants, we show that these parameters are fine-tuned to reduce the frequency of encounters between Smc complexes, presumably as a risk mitigation strategy. Mild perturbations hamper chromosome organization by causing Smc collisions, implying that the cellular capacity to resolve them is limited. Altogether, we identify mechanisms that help to avoid Smc collisions and their resolution by Smc traversal or other potentially risky molecular transactions.
All deep sequencing data has been deposited to the NCBI GEO database and will be available at GEO Accession number: GSE163573All other raw data will be made available via Mendeley Data DOI:10.17632/kvjd6nj2bh.2
- Stephan Gruber
- Frederic Boccard
- Frederic Boccard
- Anita Minnen
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Michael T Laub, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
© 2021, Anchimiuk et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Imaging experiments reveal the complex and dynamic nature of the transcriptional hubs associated with Notch signaling.
African trypanosomes evade host immune clearance by antigenic variation, causing persistent infections in humans and animals. These parasites express a homogeneous surface coat of variant surface glycoproteins (VSGs). They transcribe one out of hundreds of VSG genes at a time from telomeric expression sites (ESs) and periodically change the VSG expressed by transcriptional switching or recombination. The mechanisms underlying the control of VSG switching and its developmental silencing remain elusive. We report that telomeric ES activation and silencing entail an on/off genetic switch controlled by a nuclear phosphoinositide signaling system. This system includes a nuclear phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphatase (PIP5Pase), its substrate PI(3,4,5)P3, and the repressor-activator protein 1 (RAP1). RAP1 binds to ES sequences flanking VSG genes via its DNA binding domains and represses VSG transcription. In contrast, PI(3,4,5)P3 binds to the N-terminus of RAP1 and controls its DNA binding activity. Transient inactivation of PIP5Pase results in the accumulation of nuclear PI(3,4,5)P3, which binds RAP1 and displaces it from ESs, activating transcription of silent ESs and VSG switching. The system is also required for the developmental silencing of VSG genes. The data provides a mechanism controlling reversible telomere silencing essential for the periodic switching in VSG expression and its developmental regulation.