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J Bacteriol. 1994 Sep;176(17):5439-49.

Roles of FliK and FlhB in determination of flagellar hook length in Salmonella typhimurium.

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  • 1Department of Biosciences, Teikyo University, Utsunomiya, Japan.


The length of flagellar hooks isolated from wild-type and mutant cells with various hook lengths were measured on electron micrographs. The length of the wild-type hook showed a narrow distribution with a peak (+/- standard deviation) at 55.0 +/- 5.9 nm, whereas fliK mutants (so-called polyhook mutants) showed a broad distribution of hook lengths ranging from 40 to 900 nm, strongly indicating that FliK is involved in hook length determination. Among pseudorevertants isolated from such polyhook mutants, fliK intragenic suppressors gave rise to polyhook filaments. However, intergenic suppressors mapping to flhB also gave rise to hooks of abnormal length, albeit they were much shorter than polyhooks. Furthermore, double mutations of flhB and flgK (the structural gene for hook-associated protein 1; HAP1) resulted in polyhooks, suggesting another way in which hook length can be affected. The roles of FliK, FlhB, and HAP1 in hook length determination are discussed.

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