Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

FtsK-dependent XerCD-dif recombination unlinks replication catenanes in a stepwise manner

Published Web Location
No data is associated with this publication.

In Escherichia coli, complete unlinking of newly replicated sister chromosomes is required to ensure their proper segregation at cell division. Whereas replication links are removed primarily by topoisomerase IV, XerC/XerD-dif site-specific recombination can mediate sister chromosome unlinking in Topoisomerase IV-deficient cells. This reaction is activated at the division septum by the DNA translocase FtsK, which coordinates the last stages of chromosome segregation with cell division. It has been proposed that, after being activated by FtsK, XerC/XerD-dif recombination removes DNA links in a stepwise manner. Here, we provide a mathematically rigorous characterization of this topological mechanism of DNA unlinking. We show that stepwise unlinking is the only possible pathway that strictly reduces the complexity of the substrates at each step. Finally, we propose a topological mechanism for this unlinking reaction.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item