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Review

Flagella-Driven Motility of Bacteria

1
Department of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, 6-6-05 Aoba, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8579, Japan
2
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, 1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2019, 9(7), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9070279
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives on Bacterial Flagellar Motor)
The bacterial flagellum is a helical filamentous organelle responsible for motility. In bacterial species possessing flagella at the cell exterior, the long helical flagellar filament acts as a molecular screw to generate thrust. Meanwhile, the flagella of spirochetes reside within the periplasmic space and not only act as a cytoskeleton to determine the helicity of the cell body, but also rotate or undulate the helical cell body for propulsion. Despite structural diversity of the flagella among bacterial species, flagellated bacteria share a common rotary nanomachine, namely the flagellar motor, which is located at the base of the filament. The flagellar motor is composed of a rotor ring complex and multiple transmembrane stator units and converts the ion flux through an ion channel of each stator unit into the mechanical work required for motor rotation. Intracellular chemotactic signaling pathways regulate the direction of flagella-driven motility in response to changes in the environments, allowing bacteria to migrate towards more desirable environments for their survival. Recent experimental and theoretical studies have been deepening our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the flagellar motor. In this review article, we describe the current understanding of the structure and dynamics of the bacterial flagellum.
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Keywords: bacterial flagellum; chemotaxis; ion motive force; ion channel; mechanochemical coupling; molecular motor; motility; torque generation bacterial flagellum; chemotaxis; ion motive force; ion channel; mechanochemical coupling; molecular motor; motility; torque generation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nakamura, S.; Minamino, T. Flagella-Driven Motility of Bacteria. Biomolecules 2019, 9, 279. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9070279

AMA Style

Nakamura S, Minamino T. Flagella-Driven Motility of Bacteria. Biomolecules. 2019; 9(7):279. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9070279

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nakamura, Shuichi, and Tohru Minamino. 2019. "Flagella-Driven Motility of Bacteria" Biomolecules 9, no. 7: 279. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9070279

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