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12 2019 PLoS genetics

A divergent CheW confers plasticity to nucleoid-associated chemosensory arrays.


Guiseppi A, Vicente JJ, Herrou J, Byrne D, Barneoud A, Moine A, Espinosa L, Basse MJ, Molle V, Mignot T, Roche P, Mauriello EMF


Chemosensory systems are highly organized signaling pathways that allow bacteria to adapt to environmental changes. The Frz chemosensory system from M. xanthus possesses two CheW-like proteins, FrzA (the core CheW) and FrzB. We found that FrzB does not interact with FrzE (the cognate CheA) as it lacks the amino acid region responsible for this interaction. FrzB, instead, acts upstream of FrzCD in the regulation of M. xanthus chemotaxis behaviors and activates the Frz pathway by allowing the formation and distribution of multiple chemosensory clusters on the nucleoid. These results, together, show that the lack of the CheA-interacting region in FrzB confers new functions to this small protein.

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