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Mol Microbiol. 2003 Mar;47(5):1353-66.

The conserved cytoplasmic module of the transmembrane chemoreceptor McpC mediates carbohydrate chemotaxis in Bacillus subtilis.

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Department of Biochemistry, Colleges of Medicine and Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Escherichia coli cells use two distinct sensory circuits during chemotaxis towards carbohydrates. One circuit requires the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system (PTS) and is independent of any specific chemoreceptor, whereas the other uses a chemoreceptor-dependent sensory mechanism analogous to that used during chemotaxis towards amino acids. Work on the carbohydrate chemotaxis sensory circuit of Bacillus subtilis reported in this article indicates that the B. subtilis circuit is different from either of those used by E. coli. Our chemotactic analysis of B. subtilis strains expressing various chimeric chemoreceptors indicates that the cytoplasmic, C-terminal module of the chemoreceptor McpC acts as a sensory-input element during carbohydrate chemotaxis. Our results also indicate that PTS-mediated carbohydrate transport, but not carbohydrate metabolism, is required for production of a chemotactic signal. We propose a model in which PTS-transport-induced chemotactic signals are transmitted to the C-terminal module of McpC for control of chemotaxis towards PTS carbohydrates.

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