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J Mol Biol. 1992 Jul 20;226(2):433-46.

Morphological pathway of flagellar assembly in Salmonella typhimurium.

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Department of Genetics, Graduate University for Advanced Studies Shizuoka, Japan.


The process of flagellar assembly was investigated in Salmonella typhimurium. Seven types of flagellar precursors produced by various flagellar mutants were purified by CsCl density gradient protocol. They were characterized morphologically by electron microscopy, and biochemically by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The MS ring is formed in the absence of any other flagellar components, including the switch complex and the putative export apparatus. Four proteins previously identified as rod components, FlgB, FlgC, FlgF, FlgG, and another protein, FliE, assemble co-operatively into a stable structure. The hook is formed in two distinct steps; formation of its proximal part and elongation. Proximal part formation occurs, but elongation does not occur, in the absence of the LP ring. FlgD is necessary for hook formation, but not for LP-ring formation. A revised pathway of flagellar assembly is proposed based on these and other results.

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