Sodium-driven energy conversion for flagellar rotation of the earliest divergent hyperthermophilic bacterium

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細菌の祖先はナトリウムを使ってエネルギー変換 -原始のモーターを現代で再現する-. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2015-08-24.Aquifex aeolicus is a hyperthermophilic, hydrogen-oxidizing and carbon-fixing bacterium that can grow at temperatures up to 95 °C. A. aeolicus has an almost complete set of flagellar genes that are conserved in bacteria. Here we observed that A. aeolicus has polar flagellum and can swim with a speed of 90 μm s[−1] at 85 °C. We expressed the A. aeolicus mot genes (motA and motB), which encode the torque generating stator proteins of the flagellar motor, in a corresponding motnonmotile mutant of Escherichia coli. Its motility was slightly recovered by expression of A. aeolicus MotA and chimeric MotB whose periplasmic region was replaced with that of E. coli. A point mutation in the A. aeolicus MotA cytoplasmic region remarkably enhanced the motility. Using this system in E. coli, we demonstrate that the A. aeolicus motor is driven by Na[+]. As motor proteins from hyperthermophilic bacteria represent the earliest motor proteins in evolution, this study strongly suggests that ancient bacteria used Na[+] for energy coupling of the flagellar motor. The Na[+]-driven flagellar genes might have been laterally transferred from early-branched bacteria into late-branched bacteria and the interaction surfaces of the stator and rotor seem not to change in evolution.


  • Scientific Reports

    Scientific Reports (5), 2015-08-05

    Nature Publishing Group


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