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In situ structure of the complete Treponema primitia flagellar motor

Murphy, Gavin E. and Leadbetter, Jared R. and Jensen, Grant J. (2006) In situ structure of the complete Treponema primitia flagellar motor. Nature, 442 (7106). pp. 1062-1064. ISSN 0028-0836.

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The bacterial flagellar motor is an amazing nanomachine: built from approximately 25 different proteins, it uses an electrochemical ion gradient to drive rotation at speeds of up to 300 Hz (refs 1, 2). The flagellar motor consists of a fixed, membrane-embedded, torque-generating stator and a typically bidirectional, spinning rotor that changes direction in response to chemotactic signals. Most structural analyses so far have targeted the purified rotor (refs 3, 4), and hence little is known about the stator and its interactions. Here we show, using electron cryotomography of whole cells, the in situ structure of the complete flagellar motor from the spirochaete Treponema primitia at 7 nm resolution. Twenty individual motor particles were computationally extracted from the reconstructions, aligned and then averaged. The stator assembly, revealed for the first time, possessed 16-fold symmetry and was connected directly to the rotor, C ring and a novel P-ring-like structure. The unusually large size of the motor suggested mechanisms for increasing torque and supported models wherein critical interactions occur atop the C ring, where our data suggest that both the carboxy-terminal and middle domains of FliG are found.

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Leadbetter, Jared R.0000-0002-7033-0844
Jensen, Grant J.0000-0003-1556-4864
Additional Information:© 2006 Nature Publishing Group. Received 7 April 2006; Accepted 21 June 2006; Published online 2 August 2006. We thank E. Matson for growing the T. primitia cultures. This work was supported, in part, by NIH grants to G.J.J., a DOE grant to G.J.J., a Searle Scholar Award to G.J.J., an NSF grant to J.R.L., an NIH graduate fellowship to G.E.M., and gifts to Caltech from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Agouron Institute, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Author Contributions: G.E.M. collected and analysed the data, and drafted the text and figures; J.R.L. provided cells and discourse; and G.J.J. guided the research and manuscript editing throughout. Author Information: The averaged and symmetrized structure has been deposited in the EM Data Bank ( with the accession code EMD-1235. Competing interests statement: The authors declare no competing financial interests. Supplementary information accompanies this paper.
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Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Searle Scholars ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Ralph M. Parsons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7106
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110803-131941991
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24661
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:03 Aug 2011 20:51
Last Modified:27 Apr 2020 22:17

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