Editors' ChoiceMicrobiology

Gliding Motility Factors on the Move

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Science's STKE  08 Nov 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 309, pp. tw400
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3092005tw400

Little is known about the directional determinants of so-called gliding motility in bacteria. Mignot et al. now show that FrzS, a protein essential for pilus-based gliding motility in Myxococcus xanthus, moves in an oscillatory pattern by disassembling and reassembling clusters at the cell poles as cells reverse their direction of movement. The frequency of the oscillations is controlled by the Frz chemosensory system, which is essential for directed motility. Pole-to-pole migration of FrzS appears to involve directed movement along the length of the cell.

T. Mignot, J. P. Merlie Jr., D. R. Zusman, Regulated pole-to-pole oscillations of a bacterial gliding motility protein. Science 310, 855-857 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]