Journal: Science Advances
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How salmonella gets its groove
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A detailed model of how bacteria assemble their propeller-like swimming appendages could help researchers develop new drugs to combat infectious pathogens.
A team from Japan that included scientists from Kanazawa University used high-speed atomic force microscopy, combined with mutational analyses, to visualize flagella and pinpoint the regions within the ring-shaped export apparatus found at their bottoms that control when different types of proteins are added to the growing appendage.
Working with Salmonella, a common cause of diarrhea, they identified components of the ring that affect the export of hook proteins, which help the bacteria steer, and filament proteins, which drive propulsion.
These new molecular details of how the ring serves as a gatekeeper function to assemble flagella in an organized, stepwise fashion will provide a series of drug targets for future antimicrobial therapies.
- Science Advances 4, eaao7054 (2018). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aao7054