Membrane protein expression triggers chromosomal locus repositioning in bacteria.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

PubMedID: 22529375

Libby EA, Roggiani M, Goulian M. Membrane protein expression triggers chromosomal locus repositioning in bacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2012;109(19):7445-50.
It has long been hypothesized that subcellular positioning of chromosomal loci in bacteria may be influenced by gene function and expression state. Here we provide direct evidence that membrane protein expression affects the position of chromosomal loci in Escherichia coli. For two different membrane proteins, we observed a dramatic shift of their genetic loci toward the membrane upon induction. In related systems in which a cytoplasmic protein was produced, or translation was eliminated by mutating the start codon, a shift was not observed. Antibiotics that block transcription and translation similarly prevented locus repositioning toward the membrane. We also found that repositioning is relatively rapid and can be detected at positions that are a considerable distance on the chromosome from the gene encoding the membrane protein (>90 kb). Given that membrane protein-encoding genes are distributed throughout the chromosome, their expression may be an important mechanism for maintaining the bacterial chromosome in an expanded and dynamic state.