Excitation and adaptation in bacteria-a model signal transduction system that controls taxis and spatial pattern formation

Hans G. Othmer, Xiangrong Xin, Chuan Xue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The machinery for transduction of chemotactic stimuli in the bacterium E. coli is one of the most completely characterized signal transduction systems, and because of its relative simplicity, quantitative analysis of this system is possible. Here we discuss models which reproduce many of the important behaviors of the system. The important characteristics of the signal transduction system are excitation and adaptation, and the latter implies that the transduction system can function as a "derivative sensor" with respect to the ligand concentration in that the DC component of a signal is ultimately ignored if it is not too large. This temporal sensing mechanism provides the bacterium with a memory of its passage through spatially- or temporally-varying signal fields, and adaptation is essential for successful chemotaxis. We also discuss some of the spatial patterns observed in populations and indicate how cell-level behavior can be embedded in population-level descriptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9205-9248
Number of pages44
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Keywords

  • E. coli
  • Methylation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Signal transduction
  • Tar receptor

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