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J Struct Biol. 2011 Jan;173(1):67-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2010.08.004. Epub 2010 Aug 10.

Zernike phase contrast cryo-electron tomography of sodium-driven flagellar hook-basal bodies from Vibrio alginolyticus.

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  • 1Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, 5-1 Higashiyama, Myodaiji-cho, Okazaki 444-8787, Japan.


Vibrio alginolyticus use flagella to swim. A flagellum consists of a filament, hook and basal body. The basal body is made up of a rod and several ring structures. This study investigates the structure of the T ring which is a unique component of the V. alginolyticus sodium ion-driven flagellar basal body. Using Zernike phase contrast (ZPC) cryo-electron tomography, we compared the 3D structures of purified hook-basal bodies (HBB) from a wild-type strain (KK148) and a deletion mutant lacking MotX and MotY (TH3), which are thought to form the T ring. ZPC images of HBBs had highly improved signal-to-noise ratio compared to conventional phase contrast images. We observed the outline of the HBBs from strains KK148 and TH3, and the TH3 mutant was missing its T ring. In the wild-type strain, the T ring was beneath the LP ring and seemed to form a ring shape with diameter of 32 nm.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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