Research Article

Oscillating Global Regulators Control the Genetic Circuit Driving a Bacterial Cell Cycle

Science  14 May 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5673, pp. 983-987
DOI: 10.1126/science.1095191

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Abstract

A newly identified cell-cycle master regulator protein, GcrA, together with the CtrA master regulator, are key components of a genetic circuit that drives cell-cycle progression and asymmetric polar morphogenesis in Caulobacter crescentus. The circuit drives out-of-phase temporal and spatial oscillation of GcrA and CtrA concentrations, producing time- and space-dependent transcriptional regulation of modular functions that implement cell-cycle processes. The CtrA/GcrA regulatory circuit controls expression of polar differentiation factors and the timing of DNA replication. CtrA functions as a silencer of the replication origin and GcrA as an activator of components of the replisome and the segregation machinery.

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