Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
The 20 common amino acids act as attractants during chemotaxis by the Gram-positive organism Bacillus subtilis. In this study, we report that all amino acids induce B. subtilis to produce methanol both upon addition and removal of the chemoeffector. Asparagine-induced methanol production is specific to the McpB receptor and aspartate-induced methanol production correlates with receptor occupancy. These findings suggest that addition and removal of all amino acids cause demethylation of specific receptors which results in methanol production. We also demonstrate that certain attractants cause greater production of methanol after multiple stimulations. CheC and CheD, while affecting the levels of receptor methylation, are not absolutely required for either methylation or demethylation. In contrast, CheY is necessary for methanol formation upon removal of attractant but not upon addition of attractant. We conclude that methanol formation due to negative stimuli indicates the existence of a unique adaptational mechanism in B. subtilis involving the response regulator, CheY.
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