Journal article

Functional dichotomy and distinct nanoscale assemblies of acell cycle-c ontrolled bipolar zinc-finger regulator

Protein polarization underlies differentiation in metazoans and in bacteria. How symmetric polarization can instate functional asymmetry remains elusive. Here, we show by super-resolution photo-activated localization microscopy and edgetic mutations that the bitopic zinc-finger protein ZitP implements specialized developmental functions pilus biogenesis and multifactorial swarming motility while shaping distinct nanoscale (bi)polar architectures in the asymmetric model bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. Polar assemblage and accumulation of ZitP and its effector protein CpaM are orchestrated in time and space by conserved components of the cell cycle circuitry that coordinate polar morphogenesis with cell cycle progression, and also act on the master cell cycle regulator CtrA. Thus, this novel class of potentially widespread multifunctional polarity regulators is deeply embedded in the cell cycle circuitry.


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