Analogously to chromosome cohesion in eukaryotes, newly replicated DNA in E. coli is held together by inter-sister linkages before partitioning into daughter nucleoids. In both cases, initial joining is apparently mediated by DNA catenation, in which replication-induced positive supercoils diffuse behind the fork, causing newly replicated duplexes to twist around each other. Type-II topoisomerase-catalyzed sister separation is delayed by the well-characterized cohesin complex in eukaryotes, but cohesion control in E. coli is not currently understood. We report that the abundant fork tracking protein SeqA is a strong positive regulator of cohesion, and is responsible for markedly prolonged cohesion observed at "snap" loci. Epistasis analysis suggests that SeqA stabilizes cohesion by antagonizing Topo IV-mediated sister resolution, and possibly also by a direct bridging mechanism. We show that variable cohesion observed along the E. coli chromosome is caused by differential SeqA binding, with oriC and snap loci binding disproportionally more SeqA. We propose that SeqA binding results in loose inter-duplex junctions that are resistant to Topo IV cleavage. Lastly, reducing cohesion by genetic manipulation of Topo IV or SeqA resulted in dramatically slowed sister locus separation and poor nucleoid partitioning, indicating that cohesion has a prominent role in chromosome segregation. © 2013 Joshi et al.
Joshi, M. C., Magnan, D., Montminy, T. P., Lies, M., Stepankiw, N., & Bates, D. (2013). Regulation of Sister Chromosome Cohesion by the Replication Fork Tracking Protein SeqA. PLoS Genetics, 9(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1003673