Nature communications

MatP regulates the coordinated action of topoisomerase IV and MukBEF in chromosome segregation.

PMID 26818444


The Escherichia coli SMC complex, MukBEF, forms clusters of molecules that interact with the decatenase topisomerase IV and which are normally associated with the chromosome replication origin region (ori). Here we demonstrate an additional ATP-hydrolysis-dependent association of MukBEF with the replication termination region (ter). Consistent with this, MukBEF interacts with MatP, which binds matS sites in ter. MatP displaces wild-type MukBEF complexes from ter, thereby facilitating their association with ori, and limiting the availability of topoisomerase IV (TopoIV) at ter. Displacement of MukBEF is impaired when MukB ATP hydrolysis is compromised and when MatP is absent, leading to a stable association of ter and MukBEF. Impairing the TopoIV-MukBEF interaction delays sister ter segregation in cells lacking MatP. We propose that the interplay between MukBEF and MatP directs chromosome organization in relation to MukBEF clusters and associated topisomerase IV, thereby ensuring timely chromosome unlinking and segregation.