Chapter 30 : Regulation of Flagellar Gene Expression and Assembly

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Campylobacters produce proteins required for motility that are absent in other well studied motile bacteria, and have portions of conserved pathways mixed with unique mechanisms of promoting flagellar gene regulation, biosynthesis, and motility. Chemotaxis is an essential property of flagellar motility that influences the movement of bacteria toward appropriate environmental and host niches that support ideal bacterial growth and away from components that are less beneficial for growth or harmful to the organism. Although much information regarding flagellar motility has been gleaned by analyzing predictions from genomic sequences, the field of flagellar motility in campylobacters was moved forward by the development of new genetic tools and strategies for studying these bacteria. Seminal works for understanding regulatory pathways for flagellar gene expression and assembly of proteins into a flagellum largely focused on those of species followed by and species. Early studies focusing on antigens of that are recognized by convalescent human antisera after infection revealed that the major flagellin FlaA is the foremost immunodominant antigen. Thus, much early work regarding flagellar motility in campylobacters largely centered on the genetic organization and expression of the flagellin genes of and . Flagellar motility in campylobacters is also affected by phase variation. Much progress has been made in the last decade in identifying proteins of campylobacters required for flagellar motility and understanding the roles of these proteins in flagellar gene regulation, biosynthesis of the organelle, and chemotaxis.

Citation: Hendrixson D. 2008. Regulation of Flagellar Gene Expression and Assembly, p 545-558. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch30
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Image of Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Proposed regulatory cascade for expression of flagellar genes in campylobacters. The regulatory cascade is based on data acquired through analysis of strains. (Left) may lack a master regulator for expression of early flagellar genes. These early genes, which include those encoding σ, σ, FlgM, FlgS, FlgR, FlhF, and components of the flagellar export apparatus (FlhA, FlhB, FliP, FliR, FliO, FliQ, and FliF), may be constitutively expressed. After formation of the flagellar export apparatus, FlgS may sense an undetermined signal to autophosphorylate and begin a signal transduction cascade, terminating in activation of FlgR and expression of σ-dependent flagellar genes. Expression of σ-dependent flagellar genes results in production of the flagellar basal body and hook proteins, which complete formation of the flagellar secretory system. (Middle) Until the flagellar secretory system has formed, FlgM may inhibit the activity of σ for expression of target genes. This inhibitory effect may be strain dependent in campylobacters. After formation of the secretory system, FlgM is likely transported out of the cytoplasm through this system. σ is then relieved from inhibition and can function in expression of target genes that includes , encoding the major flagellin. (Right) Secretion of FlaA and other filament proteins occurs through the conduit formed by the flagellar export apparatus, rod, and hook to result in polymerization of the flagellar filament. OM, outer membrane; IM, inner membrane.

Citation: Hendrixson D. 2008. Regulation of Flagellar Gene Expression and Assembly, p 545-558. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch30
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Table 1.

Known and proposed proteins of that function in flagellar motility

Citation: Hendrixson D. 2008. Regulation of Flagellar Gene Expression and Assembly, p 545-558. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch30

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