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Elife. 2017 Jun 27;6. pii: e27470. doi: 10.7554/eLife.27470.

Structure and in situ organisation of the Pyrococcus furiosus archaellum machinery.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Frankfurt, Germany.
2
Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.
3
College of Physics, Engineering and Physical Science, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.
4
Institute of Microbiology and Archaea Centre, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
5
Institute of Biology II, Molecular Biology of Archaea, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

Abstract

The archaellum is the macromolecular machinery that Archaea use for propulsion or surface adhesion, enabling them to proliferate and invade new territories. The molecular composition of the archaellum and of the motor that drives it appears to be entirely distinct from that of the functionally equivalent bacterial flagellum and flagellar motor. Yet, the structure of the archaellum machinery is scarcely known. Using combined modes of electron cryo-microscopy (cryoEM), we have solved the structure of the Pyrococcus furiosus archaellum filament at 4.2 Å resolution and visualise the architecture and organisation of its motor complex in situ. This allows us to build a structural model combining the archaellum and its motor complex, paving the way to a molecular understanding of archaeal swimming motion.

KEYWORDS:

Pyrococcus furiosus; archaea; archaellum; biophysics; electron cryo-microscopy; electron cryo-tomography; helical reconstruction; structural biology

PMID:
28653905
PMCID:
PMC5517150
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.27470
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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