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Three-dimensional structure of Mycoplasma pneumoniae's attachment organelle and a model for its role in gliding motility

Henderson, Gregory P. and Jensen, Grant J. (2006) Three-dimensional structure of Mycoplasma pneumoniae's attachment organelle and a model for its role in gliding motility. Molecular Microbiology, 60 (2). pp. 376-385. ISSN 0950-382X. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2006.05113.x.

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While most motile bacteria propel themselves with flagella, other mechanisms have been described including retraction of surface-attached pili, secretion of polysaccharides, or movement of motors along surface protein tracks. These have been referred to collectively as forms of 'gliding' motility. Despite being simultaneously one of the smallest and simplest of all known cells, Mycoplasma pneumoniae builds a surprisingly large and complex cell extension known as the attachment organelle that enables it to glide. Here, three-dimensional images of the attachment organelle were produced with unprecedented clarity and authenticity using state-of-the-art electron cryotomography. The attachment organelle was seen to contain a multisubunit, jointed, dynamic motor much larger than a flagellar basal body and comparable in complexity. A new model for its function is proposed wherein inchworm-like conformational changes of its electron-dense core are leveraged against a cytoplasmic anchor and transmitted to the surface through layered adhesion proteins.

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Jensen, Grant J.0000-0003-1556-4864
Additional Information:© 2006 The Authors. Accepted 7 February, 2006. This work was supported in part by NIH Grant P01 G66521 to G.J.J., DOE Grant DE-FG02-04ER63785 to G.J.J., a Searle Scholar Award to G.J.J., and gifts to Caltech from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Agouron Institute, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. We thank Duncan C. Krause of the University of Georgia for providing M. pneumoniae M129, for repeated discussions, for sharing unpublished data, and for his reading of the manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHP01 G66521
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-04ER63785
Searle Scholars ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Ralph M. Parsons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:HENmm06
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3529
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:12 Jun 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:56

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