Motility in Bacillus subtilis driven by an artificial protonmotive force

  • Matsuura S
  • Shioi J
  • Imae Y
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Abstract

Peritrichously flagellated bacteria swim by rotating their flagella as a bundle [ 1,2] . A motor-like model for the flagellar rotation was proposed by Berg [3] , in which a flagellum is nearly a rigid propeller and is attached to a motor, namely the basal structure of flagella. When bacterial cells were tethered on micro- scope slides by means of antibodies specific for flagella, the cell bodies did rotate [4] . This finding gave a strong support to the above model. Then, what is the energy source for the rotation of the motor? Larsen et al. [5] reported that the intermediate form in oxydative phosphorylation is the energy source for the motility in Escherichia coli, but not ATP directly. The recent studies on the mechanism of oxy- dative phosphorylation support the chemiosmotic hypothesis of Mitchell [6,7] , in which the true nature of the intermediate form was supposed to be the proton- motive force (electrochemical potential of proton). A

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Matsuura, S., Shioi, J., & Imae, Y. (1977). Motility in Bacillus subtilis driven by an artificial protonmotive force . FEBS Letters, 82(2), 187–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/0014-5793(77)80581-4

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