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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2004;7(1-2):72-7.

The junctional pore complex and the propulsion of bacterial cells.

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  • 1University of Connecticut Health Center, Department of Physiology, Farmington, Connecticut 06030, USA.


Gliding motility is defined as translocation in the direction of the long axis of the bacterium while in contact with a surface. This definition leaves unspecified any mechanism and, indeed, it appears that there is more than one physiological system underlying the same type of motion. Currently, two distinct mechanisms have been discovered in myxobacteria. One requires the extension, attachment, and retraction of type IV pili to pull the cell forwards. Recent experimental evidence suggests that a second mechanism for gliding motility involves the extrusion of slime from an organelle called the 'junctional pore complex'. This review discusses the role of slime extrusion and the junctional pore complex in the gliding motility of both cyanobacteria and myxobacteria.

Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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