Newly discovered role for CTP in ensuring faithful cell division in bacteria

To grow and multiply efficiently, bacteria must coordinate cell division with chromosome segregation. Key to this process is a protein called Nucleoid Occlusion Factor or Noc. A small and abundant molecule called Cytidine Triphosphate (CTP) is key to the functions of Noc. CTP binding enables Noc to ‘spread’ on DNA to form a large protein complex. CTP also ‘switches on’ the membrane-binding ability of Noc.