Symmetry mismatch in the MS-ring of the bacterial flagellar rotor explains the structural coordination of secretion and rotation

Steven Johnson, Yu Hang Fong, Justin C. Deme, Emily J. Furlong, Lucas Kuhlen, Susan M. Lea*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The bacterial flagellum is a complex self-assembling nanomachine that confers motility to the cell. Despite great variation across species, all flagella are ultimately constructed from a helical propeller that is attached to a motor embedded in the inner membrane. The motor consists of a series of stator units surrounding a central rotor made up of two ring complexes, the MS-ring and the C-ring. Despite many studies, high-resolution structural information is still lacking for the MS-ring of the rotor, and proposed mismatches in stoichiometry between the two rings have long provided a source of confusion for the field. Here, we present structures of the Salmonella MS-ring, revealing a high level of variation in inter- and intrachain symmetry that provides a structural explanation for the ability of the MS-ring to function as a complex and elegant interface between the two main functions of the flagellum—protein secretion and rotation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-975
Number of pages10
JournalNature Microbiology
Volume5
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

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