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Polarisation of prokaryotic chromosomes
Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Apr;6(2):101-8
J.R. Lobry, J.M. Louarn

In many prokaryotes, asymmetrical mutational or selective pressures have caused compositional skews between complementary strands of replication arms, especially sensitive in the distribution of guanine and cytosine. In Escherichia coli, most of the guanine/cytosine skew is caused by mutation rates differing on leading and lagging strands, but contribution of skewed functionally important guanine-rich motifs (Chi and Rag sites), which control chromosome repair or positioning, is noticeable. Interference between replication and gene expression plays a minor role. The situation may be different in other bacteria. Studies of chromosome processing and bacterial taxonomy might profit from consideration of chromosome polarisation.

PMID: 12732297

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