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Dynamic instability — A common denominator in prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA segregation and cell division

Abstract

Dynamic instability is an essential phenomenon in eukaryotic nuclear division and prokaryotic plasmid R1 segregation. Although the molecular machines used in both systems differ greatly in composition, strong similarities and requisite nuances in dynamics and segregation mechanisms are observed. This brief examination of the current literature provides a functional comparison between prokaryotic and eukaryotic dynamically unstable filaments, specifically ParM and microtubules. Additionally, this mini-review should support the notion that any dynamically unstable filament could serve as the molecular machine driving DNA segregation, but these machines possess auxiliary features to adapt to temporal and spatial disparities in either system.

Abbreviations

APC:

anaphase-promoting complex

ATP:

adenosine-5′-triphosphate

CDK:

cyclin-dependent kinase E. coli-Escherichia coli

GTP:

guanosine-5′-triphosphate

MT:

microtubule

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Correspondence to John A. Fuesler.

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Fuesler, J.A., Li, HJ.S. Dynamic instability — A common denominator in prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA segregation and cell division. Cell Mol Biol Lett 17, 542–548 (2012). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11658-012-0026-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11658-012-0026-3

Key words

  • Dynamic instability
  • Microtubules
  • ParM filaments
  • R1 plasmid
  • Mitosis
  • Mitotic spindle
  • Brownian ratchet
  • Cytoskeleton evolution
  • Catastrophe/recovery