Nucleoid-mediated positioning and transport in bacteria
Precise management of the spatiotemporal position of subcellular components is critical to a number of essential processes in the bacterial cell. The bacterial nucleoid is a highly structured yet dynamic object that undergoes significant reorganization during the relatively short cell cycle, e.g. during gene expression, chromosome replication, and segregation. Although the nucleoid takes up a large fraction of the volume of the cell, the mobility of macromolecules within these dense regions is relatively high and recent results suggest that the nucleoid plays an integral role of dynamic localization in a host of seemingly disparate cellular processes. Here, we review a number of recent reports of nucleoid-mediated positioning and transport in the model bacteria Escherichia coli. These results viewed as a whole suggest that the dynamic, cellular-scale structure of the nucleoid may be a key driver of positioning and transport within the cell. This model of a global, default positioning and transport system may help resolve many unanswered questions about the mechanisms of partitioning and segregation in bacteria.
KeywordsChromosome dynamics Active partitioning Chromosome segregation Plasmid partitioning
Special thanks to Austin Lott for early assistance in tracking down references. This work was supported by the Central Washington University College of the Sciences Faculty Early Career Grant.