Flagella

Walter Ogston ogston at HOBBES.KZOO.EDU
Thu Sep 14 12:09:11 EST 1995


David Kafkewitz (kafkwtz at andromeda.rutgers.edu) writes: 

[snip]
> 
> 1. Flagella grow from the tip with the subunits being transported through
> the core. What drives them forward through the tip?  Is metablic energy
> expended ?
> 
This isn't my field, but a start on this thread in the
literature could be made at the following reference: 

Hughes, K.T., Gillen, K.L., Semon, M.J. and Karlinsky, J.E.
(1993) Sensing structural intermediates in bacterial flagellar
assembly by export of a negative regulator.  Science 262:
1277-1280

These people showed that the repressor of one of the operon's
concerned is also exported through the flagella, so when the
flagella are complete the repressor accumulates in the cell.
Neat, isn't it?  

On the question of energy, there would of course be a
concentration gradient along the interior of the filament, but
there would also be an electrochemical gradient, with the
outside positive.  If the flagellar proteins have predominantly
negative charge, then they would electrophorese out of the cell.
Does anyone know if that is how it works?  

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Walter Ogston				ogston at hobbes.kzoo.edu
Department of Biology			Phone: (616)337-7010
Kalamazoo College			Fax:   (616)337-7251
Kalamazoo, MI 49006-3295



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