Brief Communication | Published:

Oriented loading of FtsK on KOPS

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology volume 13, pages 10261028 (2006) | Download Citation



In Escherichia coli, the ATP-dependent DNA translocase FtsK transports DNA across the site of cell division and activates recombination by the XerCD recombinases at a specific site on the chromosome, dif, to ensure the last stages of chromosome segregation. DNA transport by FtsK is oriented by 8-base-pair asymmetric sequences ('KOPS'). Here we provide evidence that KOPS promote FtsK loading on DNA and that translocation is oriented at this step.

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S.B. and O.A.S. were supported by a MENESR grant and an EU MolSwitch grant, respectively. Research was supported by the Centre national pour la recherche scientifique (ATIP), the French Ministry of Research (DRAB), the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche. We thank B. Michel, B. Lestrade, O. Espeli and C. Lesterlin for helpful comments.

Author information


  1. Laboratoire de Microbiologie et de Génétique Moléculaire, CNRS UMR5100, Toulouse, France.

    • Sarah Bigot
    •  & François Cornet
  2. Centre de Génétique Moléculaire, CNRS UPR2167, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

    • Sarah Bigot
    •  & François–Xavier Barre
  3. Laboratoire de Physique Statistique et Département de Biologie, Ecole Normale Supérieure, UMR8550 associé au CNRS et aux Universités Paris VI et VII, Paris, France.

    • Omar A Saleh
    •  & Jean-François Allemand
  4. Laboratoire Pasteur, Département de Chimie, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France.

    • Omar A Saleh
    •  & Jean-François Allemand
  5. Materials Department and Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA.

    • Omar A Saleh


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DNA engineering, protein purification and bulk analysis were performed by S.B., F.C. and F.-X.B., and single-molecule studies by O.A.S. and J.-F.A.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to François–Xavier Barre.

Supplementary information

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  1. 1.

    Supplementary Fig. 1

    Recombination on two dif sites in direct repeat.

  2. 2.

    Supplementary Fig. 2

    Displacement of dif sites upsteam decreases their inhibitory effect on recombination.

  3. 3.

    Supplementary Fig. 3

    Effect of KOPS on ATP hydrolysis.

  4. 4.

    Supplementary Fig. 4

    Translocation velocity monitored in vitro by tracking real-time extension of a single DNA molecule.

  5. 5.

    Supplementary Methods

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