Signal processing times in bacterial chemotaxis

Jeffrey E. Segall, Michael D. Manson, Howard C. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The bacterium Escherichia coli responds to changes in the concentrations of various chemicals in its environment1. A cell swims along a smooth trajectory (runs), moves erratically for a brief time (tumbles) and then runs again, choosing a new direction at random2. If a run happens to carry the cell up a gradient of an attractant (such as aspartate, serine and certain sugars), the occupancy of the appropriate chemoreceptor increases with time 3,4 and a signal is sent to the flagellar motors that increases their counterclockwise bias5. On the average, this extends favourable runs and the cell moves up the gradient. The receptors for aspartate and serine 6-8 are proteins found in the cytoplasmic membrane, known as methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins9,10, and are the products of the tar and tsr genes11. A cell can adapt to sustained changes of receptor occupancy by carboxymethylating these proteins12; it is not known, however, how these proteins signal the flagellar motors or how the signal controls the direction of flagellar rotation. Products of several che genes involved in signalling and adaptation have been identified13,14, but with the exception of a methyltransferase15 (the cheR product) and a demethylase16 (the cheB product), their functions are largely unknown. In an attempt to learn more about the events that trigger a chemotactic response, we have now exposed cells to rapid changes in the concentration of attractants and repellents and measured the time required for flagellar reversal. In wild-type cells and in cells containing a cheR-cheB deletion, the response latency is ∼0.2 s. In cheZ mutants, it is much longer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-857
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume296
Issue number5860
DOIs
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Chemotaxis
Tars
Aspartic Acid
Serine
Reaction Time
Proteins
Cell Membrane
Escherichia coli
Bacteria
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Signal processing times in bacterial chemotaxis. / Segall, Jeffrey E.; Manson, Michael D.; Berg, Howard C.

In: Nature, Vol. 296, No. 5860, 1982, p. 855-857.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Segall, JE, Manson, MD & Berg, HC 1982, 'Signal processing times in bacterial chemotaxis', Nature, vol. 296, no. 5860, pp. 855-857. https://doi.org/10.1038/296855a0
Segall, Jeffrey E. ; Manson, Michael D. ; Berg, Howard C. / Signal processing times in bacterial chemotaxis. In: Nature. 1982 ; Vol. 296, No. 5860. pp. 855-857.
@article{9d2446b9126c4ab3b2f64fa18f142f1c,
title = "Signal processing times in bacterial chemotaxis",
abstract = "The bacterium Escherichia coli responds to changes in the concentrations of various chemicals in its environment1. A cell swims along a smooth trajectory (runs), moves erratically for a brief time (tumbles) and then runs again, choosing a new direction at random2. If a run happens to carry the cell up a gradient of an attractant (such as aspartate, serine and certain sugars), the occupancy of the appropriate chemoreceptor increases with time 3,4 and a signal is sent to the flagellar motors that increases their counterclockwise bias5. On the average, this extends favourable runs and the cell moves up the gradient. The receptors for aspartate and serine 6-8 are proteins found in the cytoplasmic membrane, known as methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins9,10, and are the products of the tar and tsr genes11. A cell can adapt to sustained changes of receptor occupancy by carboxymethylating these proteins12; it is not known, however, how these proteins signal the flagellar motors or how the signal controls the direction of flagellar rotation. Products of several che genes involved in signalling and adaptation have been identified13,14, but with the exception of a methyltransferase15 (the cheR product) and a demethylase16 (the cheB product), their functions are largely unknown. In an attempt to learn more about the events that trigger a chemotactic response, we have now exposed cells to rapid changes in the concentration of attractants and repellents and measured the time required for flagellar reversal. In wild-type cells and in cells containing a cheR-cheB deletion, the response latency is ∼0.2 s. In cheZ mutants, it is much longer.",
author = "Segall, {Jeffrey E.} and Manson, {Michael D.} and Berg, {Howard C.}",
year = "1982",
doi = "10.1038/296855a0",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "296",
pages = "855--857",
journal = "Nature",
issn = "0028-0836",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "5860",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Signal processing times in bacterial chemotaxis

AU - Segall, Jeffrey E.

AU - Manson, Michael D.

AU - Berg, Howard C.

PY - 1982

Y1 - 1982

N2 - The bacterium Escherichia coli responds to changes in the concentrations of various chemicals in its environment1. A cell swims along a smooth trajectory (runs), moves erratically for a brief time (tumbles) and then runs again, choosing a new direction at random2. If a run happens to carry the cell up a gradient of an attractant (such as aspartate, serine and certain sugars), the occupancy of the appropriate chemoreceptor increases with time 3,4 and a signal is sent to the flagellar motors that increases their counterclockwise bias5. On the average, this extends favourable runs and the cell moves up the gradient. The receptors for aspartate and serine 6-8 are proteins found in the cytoplasmic membrane, known as methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins9,10, and are the products of the tar and tsr genes11. A cell can adapt to sustained changes of receptor occupancy by carboxymethylating these proteins12; it is not known, however, how these proteins signal the flagellar motors or how the signal controls the direction of flagellar rotation. Products of several che genes involved in signalling and adaptation have been identified13,14, but with the exception of a methyltransferase15 (the cheR product) and a demethylase16 (the cheB product), their functions are largely unknown. In an attempt to learn more about the events that trigger a chemotactic response, we have now exposed cells to rapid changes in the concentration of attractants and repellents and measured the time required for flagellar reversal. In wild-type cells and in cells containing a cheR-cheB deletion, the response latency is ∼0.2 s. In cheZ mutants, it is much longer.

AB - The bacterium Escherichia coli responds to changes in the concentrations of various chemicals in its environment1. A cell swims along a smooth trajectory (runs), moves erratically for a brief time (tumbles) and then runs again, choosing a new direction at random2. If a run happens to carry the cell up a gradient of an attractant (such as aspartate, serine and certain sugars), the occupancy of the appropriate chemoreceptor increases with time 3,4 and a signal is sent to the flagellar motors that increases their counterclockwise bias5. On the average, this extends favourable runs and the cell moves up the gradient. The receptors for aspartate and serine 6-8 are proteins found in the cytoplasmic membrane, known as methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins9,10, and are the products of the tar and tsr genes11. A cell can adapt to sustained changes of receptor occupancy by carboxymethylating these proteins12; it is not known, however, how these proteins signal the flagellar motors or how the signal controls the direction of flagellar rotation. Products of several che genes involved in signalling and adaptation have been identified13,14, but with the exception of a methyltransferase15 (the cheR product) and a demethylase16 (the cheB product), their functions are largely unknown. In an attempt to learn more about the events that trigger a chemotactic response, we have now exposed cells to rapid changes in the concentration of attractants and repellents and measured the time required for flagellar reversal. In wild-type cells and in cells containing a cheR-cheB deletion, the response latency is ∼0.2 s. In cheZ mutants, it is much longer.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0019953987&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0019953987&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/296855a0

DO - 10.1038/296855a0

M3 - Article

VL - 296

SP - 855

EP - 857

JO - Nature

JF - Nature

SN - 0028-0836

IS - 5860

ER -