The bacterial chromosome: architecture and action of bacterial SMC and SMC-like complexes
Article first published online: 18 NOV 2013
© 2013 The Authors. FEMS Microbiology Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
FEMS Microbiology Reviews
How to Cite
Nolivos, S. and Sherratt, D. (2013), The bacterial chromosome: architecture and action of bacterial SMC and SMC-like complexes. FEMS Microbiology Reviews. doi: 10.1111/1574-6976.12045
- Article first published online: 18 NOV 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 5 OCT 2013 09:04AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 9 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 1 JUL 2013
- Wellcome Trust. Grant Number: WT099204
- SMC ;
- chromosome organization;
- chromosome segregation
Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC) protein complexes are found in all three domains of life. They are characterized by a distinctive and conserved architecture in which a globular ATPase ‘head’ domain is formed by the N- and C-terminal regions of the SMC protein coming together, with a c. 50-nm-long antiparallel coiled-coil separating the head from a dimerization ‘hinge’. Dimerization gives both V- and O-shaped SMC dimers. The distinctive architecture points to a conserved biochemical mechanism of action. However, the details of this mechanism are incomplete, and the precise ways in which this mechanism leads to the biological functions of these complexes in chromosome organization and processing remain unclear. In this review, we introduce the properties of bacterial SMC complexes, compare them with eukaryotic complexes and discuss how their likely biochemical action relates to their roles in chromosome organization and segregation.