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Noise characteristics of the Escherichia colirotary motor

Clausznitzer, Diana ; Endres, Robert G.

In: BMC Systems Biology, 5 (2011), Nr. 151. pp. 1-23. ISSN 1752-0509

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Background: The chemotaxis pathway in the bacterium Escherichia coli allows cells to detect changes in external ligand concentration (e.g. nutrients). The pathway regulates the flagellated rotary motors and hence the cells' swimming behaviour, steering them towards more favourable environments. While the molecular components are well characterised, the motor behaviour measured by tethered cell experiments has been difficult to interpret. Results: We study the effects of sensing and signalling noise on the motor behaviour. Specifically, we consider fluctuations stemming from ligand concentration, receptor switching between their signalling states, adaptation, modification of proteins by phosphorylation, and motor switching between its two rotational states. We develop a model which includes all signalling steps in the pathway, and discuss a simplified version, which captures the essential features of the full model. We find that the noise characteristics of the motor contain signatures from all these processes, albeit with varying magnitudes. Conclusions: Our analysis allows us to address how cell-to-cell variation affects motor behaviour and the question of optimal pathway design. A similar comprehensive analysis can be applied to other two-component signalling pathways.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Systems Biology
Volume: 5
Number: 151
Publisher: BioMed Central
Place of Publication: London
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2016 09:04
Date: 2011
ISSN: 1752-0509
Page Range: pp. 1-23
Faculties / Institutes: Service facilities > Bioquant
Subjects: 570 Life sciences
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