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Mol Microbiol. 2006 Sep;61(5):1101-9.

Phospholipid directed motility of surface-motile bacteria.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Myxococcus xanthus is a surface-motile bacterium that has adapted at least one chemosensory system to allow directed movement towards the slowly diffusible lipid phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). The Dif chemosensory pathway is remarkable because it has at least three inputs coupled to outputs that control extracellular matrix (ECM) production and lipid chemotaxis. The methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein, DifA, has two different sensor inputs that have been localized by mutagenesis. The Dif chemosensory pathway employs a novel protein that slows adaptation. Lipid chemotaxis may play important roles in the M. xanthus life cycle where prey-specific and development-specific attractants have been identified. Lipid chemotaxis may also be an important mechanism for locating nutrients by lung pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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