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Science 310 (5749): 855-857

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Regulated Pole-to-Pole Oscillations of a Bacterial Gliding Motility Protein

Tâm Mignot, John P. Merlie, Jr., David R. Zusman*

Abstract: Little is known about directed motility of bacteria that move by type IV pilus–mediated (twitching) motility. Here, we found that during periodic cell reversals of Myxoccocus xanthus, type IV pili were disassembled at one pole and reassembled at the other pole. Accompanying these reversals, FrzS, a protein required for directed motility, moved in an oscillatory pattern between the cell poles. The frequency of the oscillations was controlled by the Frz chemosensory system, which is essential for directed motility. Pole-to-pole migration of FrzS appeared to involve movement along a filament running the length of the cell. FrzS dynamics may thus regulate cell polarity during directed motility.

University of California, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Berkeley, CA 94720–3204, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: zusman{at}

Outside-In Assembly Pathway of the Type IV Pilus System in Myxococcus xanthus.
C. Friedrich, I. Bulyha, and L. Sogaard-Andersen (2014)
J. Bacteriol. 196, 378-390
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Draft Genome Sequence of Myxococcus xanthus Wild-Type Strain DZ2, a Model Organism for Predation and Development.
S. Muller, J. W. Willett, S. M. Bahr, C. L. Darnell, K. R. Hummels, C. K. Dong, H. C. Vlamakis, and J. R. Kirby (2013)
Genome Announc 1, e00217-13
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Draft Genome of a Type 4 Pilus Defective Myxococcus xanthus Strain, DZF1.
S. Muller, J. W. Willett, S. M. Bahr, J. C. Scott, J. M. Wilson, C. L. Darnell, H. C. Vlamakis, and J. R. Kirby (2013)
Genome Announc 1, e00392-13
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Structural analysis of the Ras-like G protein MglA and its cognate GAP MglB and implications for bacterial polarity.
M. Miertzschke, C. Koerner, I. R. Vetter, D. Keilberg, E. Hot, S. Leonardy, L. Sogaard-Andersen, and A. Wittinghofer (2011)
EMBO J. 30, 4185-4197
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Motor-driven intracellular transport powers bacterial gliding motility.
M. Sun, M. Wartel, E. Cascales, J. W. Shaevitz, and T. Mignot (2011)
PNAS 108, 7559-7564
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Poles Apart: Prokaryotic Polar Organelles and Their Spatial Regulation.
C. L. Kirkpatrick and P. H. Viollier (2011)
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 3, a006809
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Myxobacteria, Polarity, and Multicellular Morphogenesis.
D. Kaiser, M. Robinson, and L. Kroos (2010)
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2, a000380
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Regulation of dynamic polarity switching in bacteria by a Ras-like G-protein and its cognate GAP.
S. Leonardy, M. Miertzschke, I. Bulyha, E. Sperling, A. Wittinghofer, and L. Sogaard-Andersen (2010)
EMBO J. 29, 2276-2289
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Gliding Motility Revisited: How Do the Myxobacteria Move without Flagella?.
E. M. F. Mauriello, T. Mignot, Z. Yang, and D. R. Zusman (2010)
Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 74, 229-249
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
High-throughput identification of protein localization dependency networks.
B. Christen, M. J. Fero, N. J. Hillson, G. Bowman, S.-H. Hong, L. Shapiro, and H. H. McAdams (2010)
PNAS 107, 4681-4686
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Bacterial motility complexes require the actin-like protein, MreB and the Ras homologue, MglA.
E. M. F. Mauriello, F. Mouhamar, B. Nan, A. Ducret, D. Dai, D. R. Zusman, and T. Mignot (2010)
EMBO J. 29, 315-326
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Localization of a bacterial cytoplasmic receptor is dynamic and changes with cell-cell contacts.
E. M. F. Mauriello, D. P. Astling, O. Sliusarenko, and D. R. Zusman (2009)
PNAS 106, 4852-4857
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Predataxis behavior in Myxococcus xanthus.
J. E. Berleman, J. Scott, T. Chumley, and J. R. Kirby (2008)
PNAS 105, 17127-17132
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
PilB and PilT Are ATPases Acting Antagonistically in Type IV Pilus Function in Myxococcus xanthus.
V. Jakovljevic, S. Leonardy, M. Hoppert, and L. Sogaard-Andersen (2008)
J. Bacteriol. 190, 2411-2421
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Bacterial Signaling and Motility: Sure Bets.
R. Belas, I. B. Zhulin, and Z. Yang (2008)
J. Bacteriol. 190, 1849-1856
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Bioinformatics and Experimental Analysis of Proteins of Two-Component Systems in Myxococcus xanthus.
X. Shi, S. Wegener-Feldbrugge, S. Huntley, N. Hamann, R. Hedderich, and L. Sogaard-Andersen (2008)
J. Bacteriol. 190, 613-624
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Coupling of protein localization and cell movements by a dynamically localized response regulator in Myxococcus xanthus.
S. Leonardy, G. Freymark, S. Hebener, E. Ellehauge, and L. Sogaard-Andersen (2007)
EMBO J. 26, 4433-4444
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Triple Mutants Uncover Three New Genes Required for Social Motility in Myxococcus xanthus.
P. Youderian and P. L. Hartzell (2007)
Genetics 177, 557-566
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
MICROBIOLOGY: Bright Insight into Bacterial Gliding.
D. B. Kearns (2007)
Science 315, 773-774
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Evidence That Focal Adhesion Complexes Power Bacterial Gliding Motility.
T. Mignot, J. W. Shaevitz, P. L. Hartzell, and D. R. Zusman (2007)
Science 315, 853-856
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Rippling Is a Predatory Behavior in Myxococcus xanthus.
J. E. Berleman, T. Chumley, P. Cheung, and J. R. Kirby (2006)
J. Bacteriol. 188, 5888-5895
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Accordion waves in Myxococcus xanthus.
O. Sliusarenko, J. Neu, D. R. Zusman, and G. Oster (2006)
PNAS 103, 1534-1539
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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