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Science 328 (5983): 1295-1297

Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Asymmetrical Distribution of the Second Messenger c-di-GMP upon Bacterial Cell Division

Matthias Christen,1 Hemantha D. Kulasekara,1 Beat Christen,2 Bridget R. Kulasekara,3 Lucas R. Hoffman,4 Samuel I. Miller1,5,*

Abstract: The bacterial second messenger cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) regulates cellular motility and the synthesis of organelles and molecules that promote adhesion to a variety of biological and nonbiological surfaces. These properties likely require tight spatial and temporal regulation of c-di-GMP concentration. We have developed genetically encoded fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)–based biosensors to monitor c-di-GMP concentrations within single bacterial cells by microscopy. Fluctuations of c-di-GMP were visualized in diverse Gram-negative bacterial species and observed to be cell cycle dependent. Asymmetrical distribution of c-di-GMP in the progeny correlated with the time of cell division and polarization for Caulobacter crescentus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thus, asymmetrical distribution of c-di-GMP was observed as part of cell division, which may indicate an important regulatory step in extracellular organelle biosynthesis or function.

1 Department of Immunology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
2 Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
3 Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
4 Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
5 Departments of Genome Sciences, Microbiology, and Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: millersi{at}

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