Joe Pogliano

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Prokaryotes rely on a distant tubulin homolog, FtsZ, for assembling the cytokinetic ring essential for cell division, but are otherwise generally thought to lack tubulin-like polymers that participate in processes such as DNA segregation. Here we characterize a protein (TubZ) from the Bacillus thuringiensis virulence plasmid pBtoxis, which is a member of(More)
Mucosal surfaces are a main entry point for pathogens and the principal sites of defense against infection. Both bacteria and phage are associated with this mucus. Here we show that phage-to-bacteria ratios were increased, relative to the adjacent environment, on all mucosal surfaces sampled, ranging from cnidarians to humans. In vitro studies of tissue(More)
Many bacterial plasmids and chromosomes rely on ParA ATPases for proper positioning within the cell and for efficient segregation to daughter cells. Here we demonstrate that the F-plasmid-partitioning protein SopA polymerizes into filaments in an ATP-dependent manner in vitro, and that the filaments elongate at a rate that is similar to that of plasmid(More)
Daptomycin is a lipopeptide antibiotic used clinically for the treatment of certain types of Gram-positive infections, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Details of the mechanism of action of daptomycin continue to be elucidated, particularly the question of whether daptomycin acts on the cell membrane, the cell(More)
Actin, one of the most abundant proteins in the eukaryotic cell, also has an abundance of relatives in the eukaryotic proteome. To date though, only five families of actins have been characterized in bacteria. We have conducted a phylogenetic search and uncovered more than 35 highly divergent families of actin-like proteins (Alps) in bacteria. Their genes(More)
We here identify a protein (AlfA; actin like filament) that defines a new family of actins that are only distantly related to MreB and ParM. AlfA is required for segregation of Bacillus subtilis plasmid pBET131 (a mini pLS32-derivative) during growth and sporulation. A 3-kb DNA fragment encoding alfA and a downstream gene (alfB) is necessary and sufficient(More)
The highly conserved ParA family of partitioning systems is responsible for positioning DNA and protein complexes in bacteria. In Escherichia coli, plasmids that rely upon these systems are positioned at mid-cell and are repositioned at the quarter-cell positions after replication. How they remain fixed at these positions throughout the cell cycle is(More)
Targeting of DNA molecules to specific subcellular positions is essential for efficient segregation, but the mechanisms underlying these processes are poorly understood. In Escherichia coli, several plasmids belonging to different incompatibility groups (F, P1 and RK2) localize preferentially near the midcell and quartercell positions. Here we compare the(More)
Tubulins are essential for the reproduction of many eukaryotic viruses, but historically, bacteriophage were assumed not to require a cytoskeleton. Here, we identify a tubulin-like protein, PhuZ, from bacteriophage 201φ2-1 and show that it forms filaments in vivo and in vitro. The PhuZ structure has a conserved tubulin fold, with an unusual, extended C(More)
Cultivated psychropiezophilic (low-temperature- and high-pressure-adapted) bacteria are currently restricted to phylogenetically narrow groupings capable of growth under nutrient-replete conditions, limiting current knowledge of the extant functional attributes and evolutionary constraints of diverse microorganisms inhabiting the cold, deep ocean. This(More)