Flotillin homologue is involved in the swimming behavior of Escherichia coli.

Affiliation

División de Ciencias Naturales y Exactas, Departamento de Biología, Universidad de Guanajuato, Noria Alta s/n, Guanajuato, Gto, 36050, Mexico. [Email]

Abstract

Cellular membrane is a key component for maintaining cell shape and integrity. The classical membrane structure and function by Singer and Nicolson groundbreaking model has depicted the membrane as a homogeneous fluid structure. This view has changed by the discovery of discrete domains containing different lipid compositions, called lipid rafts, which play a key role in signal transduction in eukaryotic cells. In the past few years, lipid raft-like structures have been found in bacteria also, constituted by cardiolipin and other modified lipids, perhaps involved in generating a specific site for protein clustering. Here, we report the analysis of a protein termed YqiK from Escherichia coli, a prohibitin homolog that has been implicated in stress sensing by the formation of membrane-associated microdomains. The E. coli yqiK-deficient mutant strain showed an enhanced swimming behavior and was resistant to ampicillin but its response to other stressing conditions was similar to that of the wild-type strain. The abnormal swimming behavior is reversed when the protein is expressed in trans from a plasmid. Also, we demonstrate that YqiK is not redundant with QmcA, another flotillin homolog found in E. coli. Our results, along with the data available in the literature, suggest that YqiK may be involved in the formation of discrete membrane-associated signaling complexes that regulate and agglomerate signaling proteins to generate cell response to chemotaxis.

Keywords

Altered swimming behavior,Escherichia coli,Flotillin homologue,YqiK,

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