Jerod L. Ptacin

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Until recently, a dedicated mitotic apparatus that segregates newly replicated chromosomes into daughter cells was believed to be unique to eukaryotic cells. Here we demonstrate that the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus segregates its chromosome using a partitioning (Par) apparatus that has surprising similarities to eukaryotic spindles. We show that the C.(More)
DNA translocases are molecular motors that move rapidly along DNA using adenosine triphosphate as the source of energy. We directly observed the movement of purified FtsK, an Escherichia coli translocase, on single DNA molecules. The protein moves at 5 kilobases per second and against forces up to 60 piconewtons, and locally reverses direction without(More)
In prokaryotes, the transfer of DNA between cellular compartments is essential for the segregation and exchange of genetic material. SpoIIIE and FtsK are AAA+ ATPases responsible for intercompartmental chromosome translocation in bacteria. Despite functional and sequence similarities, these motors were proposed to use drastically different mechanisms:(More)
FtsK from Escherichia coli is a fast and sequence-directed DNA translocase with roles in chromosome dimer resolution, segregation, and decatenation. From the movement of single FtsK particles on defined DNA substrates and an analysis of skewed DNA sequences in bacteria, we identify GNGNAGGG, its complement, or both as a sequence motif that controls(More)
We demonstrate quantitative multicolor three-dimensional (3D) subdiffraction imaging of the structural arrangement of fluorescent protein fusions in living Caulobacter crescentus bacteria. Given single-molecule localization precisions of 20-40 nm, a flexible locally weighted image registration algorithm is critical to accurately combine the super-resolution(More)
Recently, single-molecule imaging and photocontrol have enabled superresolution optical microscopy of cellular structures beyond Abbe's diffraction limit, extending the frontier of noninvasive imaging of structures within living cells. However, live-cell superresolution imaging has been challenged by the need to image three-dimensional (3D) structures(More)
FtsK is a prokaryotic multidomain DNA translocase that coordinates chromosome segregation and cell division. FtsK is membrane anchored at the division septum and, guided by highly skewed DNA sequences, translocates the chromosome to bring the terminus of replication to the septum. Here, we use in vitro single-molecule and ensemble methods to unveil a(More)
Bacteria use partitioning systems based on the ParA ATPase to actively mobilize and spatially organize molecular cargoes throughout the cytoplasm. The bacterium Caulobacter crescentus uses a ParA-based partitioning system to segregate newly replicated chromosomal centromeres to opposite cell poles. Here we demonstrate that the Caulobacter PopZ scaffold(More)
The FtsK/SpoIIIE family of DNA transporters are responsible for translocating missegregated chromosomes after the completion of cell division. An extreme example of this post-cytokinetic DNA segregation occurs during spore formation in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, where SpoIIIE pumps three-quarters of the chromosome (>3 megabases) into one of the two(More)