Bacterial flagella grow through an injection diffusion mechanism

T. Renault, A. Abraham, T. Bergmiller, G. Paradis, S. Rainville, E. Charpentier, C.C. Guet, Y. Tu, K. Namba, J. Keener, T. Minamino, M. Erhardt, ELife 6 (2017).

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Journal Article | Published | English
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Abstract
The bacterial flagellum is a self-assembling nanomachine. The external flagellar filament, several times longer than a bacterial cell body, is made of a few tens of thousands subunits of a single protein: flagellin. A fundamental problem concerns the molecular mechanism of how the flagellum grows outside the cell, where no discernible energy source is available. Here, we monitored the dynamic assembly of individual flagella using in situ labelling and real-time immunostaining of elongating flagellar filaments. We report that the rate of flagellum growth, initially ~1,700 amino acids per second, decreases with length and that the previously proposed chain mechanism does not contribute to the filament elongation dynamics. Inhibition of the proton motive force-dependent export apparatus revealed a major contribution of substrate injection in driving filament elongation. The combination of experimental and mathematical evidence demonstrates that a simple, injection-diffusion mechanism controls bacterial flagella growth outside the cell.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2017-03-06
Journal Title
eLife
Volume
6
Article Number
e23136
ISSN
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Renault T, Abraham A, Bergmiller T, et al. Bacterial flagella grow through an injection diffusion mechanism. eLife. 2017;6. doi:10.7554/eLife.23136
Renault, T., Abraham, A., Bergmiller, T., Paradis, G., Rainville, S., Charpentier, E., … Erhardt, M. (2017). Bacterial flagella grow through an injection diffusion mechanism. ELife, 6. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23136
Renault, Thibaud, Anthony Abraham, Tobias Bergmiller, Guillaume Paradis, Simon Rainville, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Calin C Guet, et al. “Bacterial Flagella Grow through an Injection Diffusion Mechanism.” ELife 6 (2017). https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23136.
T. Renault et al., “Bacterial flagella grow through an injection diffusion mechanism,” eLife, vol. 6, 2017.
Renault T, Abraham A, Bergmiller T, Paradis G, Rainville S, Charpentier E, Guet CC, Tu Y, Namba K, Keener J, Minamino T, Erhardt M. 2017. Bacterial flagella grow through an injection diffusion mechanism. eLife. 6.
Renault, Thibaud, et al. “Bacterial Flagella Grow through an Injection Diffusion Mechanism.” ELife, vol. 6, e23136, eLife Sciences Publications, 2017, doi:10.7554/eLife.23136.
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