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Published June 1984 | Published
Journal Article Open

Chemical modification of Streptococcus flagellar motors


Video techniques were used to record changes in motility of cells of Streptococcus sp. strain V4051 exposed to a variety of protein modification reagents. Starved cells were tethered to glass by a single flagellum, energized metabolically with glucose, or treated with valinomycin and energized artificially via shifts to media containing low concentrations of potassium ion. Experiments were devised that distinguished reagents that lowered the proton motive force from those that blocked the generation of torque (damaged the flagellar motors). Imidazole reagents blocked the generation of torque. Amino, sulfhydryl, dithiol, and disulfide reagents did not. Some of the imidazole, amino, and sulfhydryl reagents had long-term effects on the direction of flagellar rotation.

Additional Information

© 1984 American Society for Microbiology. Received 28 November 1983/Accepted 7 March 1984. The nuclear magnetic resonance experiments were done in collaboration with M. Meister with the help of U. Banerjee. S. Block perfected the video data analysis programs. We thank S. Khan and J. Segall for their comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by Public Health Service grant AI-16478 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and by grants PCM-7922601 and PCM-8215126 from the National Science Foundation. The video data analysis system was constructed with funds from Biomedical Research Support Grant RR-07Q03 from the National Institutes of Health. The nuclear magnetic resonance work was done in a facility supported by grant CHE-7916324 from the National Science Foundation.

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