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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2006 Apr;9(2):187-92. Epub 2006 Mar 9.

Systems biology of bacterial chemotaxis.

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Princeton University, Department of Molecular Biology, Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.


Motile bacteria regulate chemotaxis through a highly conserved chemosensory signal-transduction system. System-wide analyses and mathematical modeling are facilitated by extensive experimental observations regarding bacterial chemotaxis proteins, including biochemical parameters, protein structures and protein-protein interaction maps. Thousands of signaling and regulatory chemotaxis proteins within a bacteria cell form a highly interconnected network through distinct protein-protein interactions. A bacterial cell is able to respond to multiple stimuli through a collection of chemoreceptors with different sensory modalities, which interact to affect the cooperativity and sensitivity of the chemotaxis response. The robustness or insensitivity of the chemotaxis system to perturbations in biochemical parameters is a product of the system's hierarchical network architecture.

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