The DNA-Uptake Process of Naturally Competent Vibrio cholerae

The sophisticated DNA-uptake machinery used during natural transformation is still poorly characterized, especially in Gram-negative bacteria where the transforming DNA has to cross two membranes as well as the peptidoglycan layer before entering into the cytoplasm. The DNA-uptake machinery was hypothesized to take the form of a pseudopilus, which, upon repeated cycles of extension and retraction, would pull external DNA towards the cell surface or into the periplasmic space, followed by translocation across the cytoplasmic membrane. In this review, we summarize recent advances on the DNA-uptake machinery of V. cholerae, highlighting the presence of an extended competence-induced pilus and the contribution of a conserved DNA-binding protein that acts as a ratchet and reels DNA into the periplasm.


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