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Ah-Seng Y.,Center National Of Recherche Scientifique Et Luniversite Paul Sabatier | Ah-Seng Y.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Rech J.,Center National Of Recherche Scientifique Et Luniversite Paul Sabatier | Lane D.,Center National Of Recherche Scientifique Et Luniversite Paul Sabatier | Bouet J.-Y.,Center National Of Recherche Scientifique Et Luniversite Paul Sabatier
PLoS Genetics

Hydrolysis of ATP by partition ATPases, although considered a key step in the segregation mechanism that assures stable inheritance of plasmids, is intrinsically very weak. The cognate centromere-binding protein (CBP), together with DNA, stimulates the ATPase to hydrolyse ATP and to undertake the relocation that incites plasmid movement, apparently confirming the need for hydrolysis in partition. However, ATP-binding alone changes ATPase conformation and properties, making it difficult to rigorously distinguish the substrate and cofactor roles of ATP in vivo. We had shown that mutation of arginines R36 and R42 in the F plasmid CBP, SopB, reduces stimulation of SopA-catalyzed ATP hydrolysis without changing SopA-SopB affinity, suggesting the role of hydrolysis could be analyzed using SopA with normal conformational responses to ATP. Here, we report that strongly reducing SopB-mediated stimulation of ATP hydrolysis results in only slight destabilization of mini-F, although the instability, as well as an increase in mini-F clustering, is proportional to the ATPase deficit. Unexpectedly, the reduced stimulation also increased the frequency of SopA relocation over the nucleoid. The increase was due to drastic shortening of the period spent by SopA at nucleoid ends; average speed of migration per se was unchanged. Reduced ATP hydrolysis was also associated with pronounced deviations in positioning of mini-F, though time-averaged positions changed only modestly. Thus, by specifically targeting SopB-stimulated ATP hydrolysis our study reveals that even at levels of ATPase which reduce the efficiency of splitting clusters and the constancy of plasmid positioning, SopB still activates SopA mobility and plasmid positioning, and sustains near wild type levels of plasmid stability. © 2013 Ah-Seng et al. Source

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