Perturbed states of the bacterial chromosome: A thymineless death case study

Lev Ostrer, Bree L. Hamann, Arkady Khodursky

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4 Scopus citations


Spatial patterns of transcriptional activity in the living genome of Escherichia coli represent one of the more peculiar aspects of the E. coli chromosome biology. Spatial transcriptional correlations can be observed throughout the chromosome, and their formation depends on the state of replication in the cell. The condition of thymine starvation leading to thymineless death (TLD) is at the "cross-roads" of replication and transcription. According to a current view, e.g., (Cagliero et al., 2014), one of the cellular objectives is to segregate the processes of transcription and replication in time and space. An ultimate segregation would take place when one process is inhibited and another is not, as it happens during thymine starvation, which results in numerous molecular and physiological abnormalities associated with TLD. One of such abnormalities is the loss of spatial correlations in the vicinity of the origin of replication. We review the transcriptional consequences of replication inhibition by thymine starvation in a context of the state of DNA template in the starved cells and opine about a possible significance of normal physiological coupling between the processes of replication and transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number363
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberAPR
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Ostrer, Hamann and Khodursky.


  • Replication
  • Spatial correlations
  • Thymine starvation
  • Thymineless death
  • Transcription


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