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J Bacteriol. 1996 Feb;178(3):902-5.

Isolation and characterization of flagella and flagellin proteins from the Thermoacidophilic archaea Thermoplasma volcanium and Sulfolobus shibatae.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


Isolated flagellar filaments of Sulfolobus shibatae were 15 nm in diameter, and they were composed of two major flagellins which have M(r)s of 31,000 and 33,000 and which stained positively for glycoprotein. The flagellar filaments of Thermoplasma volcanium were 12 nm in diameter and were composed of one major flagellin which has an M(r) of 41,000 and which also stained positively for glycoprotein. N-terminal amino acid sequencing indicated that 18 of the N-terminal 20 amino acid positions of the 41-kDa flagellin of T. volcanium were identical to those of the Methanococcus voltae 31-kDa flagellin. Both flagellins of S. shibatae had identical amino acid sequences for at least 23 of the N-terminal positions. This sequence was least similar to any of the available archaeal flagellin sequences, consistent with the phylogenetic distance of S. shibatae from the other archaea studied.

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