Jul 11, 2014

Controlling minimal and maximal hook-length of the bacterial flagellum

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Fan GaoMarc Erhardt


Hook-length control is a central checkpoint during assembly of the bacterial flagellum. During hook growth, a 405 amino acids (aa) protein, FliK, is intermittently secreted and thought to function as a molecular measuring tape that, in Salmonella , controls hook-length to 55 nm ± 6 nm. The underlying mechanism involves interactions of both the α-helical, N-terminal domain of FliK (FliKN) with the hook and hook cap, and of its C-terminal domain with a component of the export apparatus. However, various deletion mutants of FliKN display uncontrolled hook-length, which is not consistent with a ruler mechanism. Here, we carried out an extensive deletion analysis of FliKN to investigate its contribution in the hook-length control mechanism. We identified FliKN mutants deleted for up to 80 aa that retained wildtype motility. However, the short FliK variants did not produce shorter hook-lengths as expected from a physical ruler. Rather, the minimal length of the hook depends on the level of hook protein production and secretion. Our results thus support a model in which FliK functions as a hook growth terminator protein that limits the maximal length of the hook, and not as a molecular ruler that physically measures hook-length.

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Mentioned in this Paper

AN 1
Anchored PCR
Whole Blood
Benign Meningioma
Nucleic Acid Sequencing
Alpha-beta T-Cell Receptor
Gene Amplification Technique

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