RocS drives chromosome segregation and nucleoid protection in Streptococcus pneumoniae

Chryslène Mercy, Adrien Ducret, Jelle Slager, Jean-Pierre Lavergne, Céline Freton, Sathya Narayanan Nagarajan, Pierre Simon Garcia, Marie-Francoise Noirot-Gros, Nelly Dubarry, Julien Nourikyan, Jan-Willem Veening, Christophe Grangeasse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Chromosome segregation in bacteria is poorly understood outside some prominent model strains(1-5) and even less is known about how it is coordinated with other cellular processes. This is the case for the opportunistic human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus)(6), which lacks the Min and the nucleoid occlusion systems(7), and possesses only an incomplete chromosome partitioning Par(A)BS system, in which ParA is absent(8). The bacterial tyrosine kinase(9) CpsD, which is required for capsule production, was previously found to interfere with chromosome segregation(10). Here, we identify a protein of unknown function that interacts with CpsD and drives chromosome segregation. RocS (Regulator of Chromosome Segregation) is a membrane-bound protein that interacts with both DNA and the chromosome partitioning protein ParB to properly segregate the origin of replication region to new daughter cells. In addition, we show that RocS interacts with the cell division protein FtsZ and hinders cell division. Altogether, this work reveals that RocS is the cornerstone of a nucleoid protection system ensuring proper chromosome segregation and cell division in coordination with the biogenesis of the protective capsular layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1661-1670
Number of pages10
JournalNature Microbiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2019


  • Bacterial Capsules/metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins/genetics
  • Cell Division
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins/metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins/genetics
  • Gene Deletion
  • Models, Biological
  • Origin Recognition Complex/genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/genetics
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae/cytology

Cite this