Signal transduction in bacterial chemotaxis

Melinda D. Baker, Peter M. Wolanin, Jeffry B. Stock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations


Motile bacteria respond to environmental cues to move to more favorable locations. The components of the chemotaxis signal transduction systems that mediate these responses are highly conserved among prokaryotes including both eubacterial and archael species. The best-studied system is that found in Escherichia coli. Attractant and repellent chemicals are sensed through their interactions with transmembrane chemoreceptor proteins that are localized in multimeric assemblies at one or both cell poles together with a histidine protein kinase, CheA, an SH3-like adaptor protein, CheW, and a phosphoprotein phosphatase, CheZ. These multimeric protein assemblies act to control the level of phosphorylation of a response regulator, CheY, which dictates flagellar motion. Bacterial chemotaxis is one of the most-understood signal transduction systems, and many biochemical and structural details of this system have been elucidated. This is an exciting field of study because the depth of knowledge now allows the detailed molecular mechanisms of transmembrane signaling and signal processing to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-22
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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