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Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2006 May;13(5):400-7. Epub 2006 Apr 23.

Reconstruction of the chemotaxis receptor-kinase assembly.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


In bacterial chemotaxis, an assembly of transmembrane receptors, the CheA histidine kinase and the adaptor protein CheW processes environmental stimuli to regulate motility. The structure of a Thermotoga maritima receptor cytoplasmic domain defines CheA interaction regions and metal ion-coordinating charge centers that undergo chemical modification to tune receptor response. Dimeric CheA-CheW, defined by crystallography and pulsed ESR, positions two CheWs to form a cleft that is lined with residues important for receptor interactions and sized to clamp one receptor dimer. CheW residues involved in kinase activation map to interfaces that orient the CheW clamps. CheA regulatory domains associate in crystals through conserved hydrophobic surfaces. Such CheA self-contacts align the CheW receptor clamps for binding receptor tips. Linking layers of ternary complexes with close-packed receptors generates a lattice with reasonable component ratios, cooperative interactions among receptors and accessible sites for modification enzymes.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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