Role of cell-specific SpoIIIE assembly in polarity of DNA transfer.

Science 295(5552):137 (2002) PMID 11778051 PMCID PMC2885158

SpoIIIE mediates postseptational chromosome partitioning in Bacillus subtilis, but the mechanism controlling the direction of DNA transfer remains obscure. Here, we demonstrated that SpoIIIE acts as a DNA exporter: When SpoIIIE was synthesized in the larger of the two cells necessary for sporulation, the mother cell, DNA was translocated into the smaller forespore; however, when it was synthesized in the forespore, DNA was translocated into the mother cell. Furthermore, the DNA-tracking domain of SpoIIIE inhibited SpoIIIE complex assembly in the forespore. Thus, during sporulation, chromosome partitioning is controlled by the preferential assembly of SpoIIIE in one daughter cell.