Amplification of Signaling Events in Bacteria

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Science's STKE  14 May 2002:
Vol. 2002, Issue 132, pp. pe24
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2002.132.pe24

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Bacteria respond to extremely shallow chemical gradients by modifying their motility in a process called chemotaxis. This chemotactic response is characterized by high sensitivity to small concentration differences, which extends over a large range of concentrations. This combination of high signal gain and large dynamic range results from both a memory of past events and the ability to amplify small differences in signal between the memory and the current environment. Dahlquist describes the signaling mechanism used by bacteria to regulate the flagellar motor and the places in this pathway where signal amplification may occur.

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