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Free Content Polar localization of Escherichia coli chemoreceptors requires an intact Tol–Pal complex

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Subcellular biomolecular localization is critical for the metabolic and structural properties of the cell. The functional implications of the spatiotemporal distribution of protein complexes during the bacterial cell cycle have long been acknowledged; however, the molecular mechanisms for generating and maintaining their dynamic localization in bacteria are not completely understood. Here we demonstrate that the trans‐envelope Tol–Pal complex, a widely conserved component of the cell envelope of Gram‐negative bacteria, is required to maintain the polar positioning of chemoreceptor clusters in E scherichia coli. Localization of the chemoreceptors was independent of phospholipid composition of the membrane and the curvature of the cell wall. Instead, our data indicate that chemoreceptors interact with components of the Tol–Pal complex and that this interaction is required to polarly localize chemoreceptor clusters. We found that disruption of the Tol–Pal complex perturbs the polar localization of chemoreceptors, alters cell motility, and affects chemotaxis. We propose that the E . coli Tol–Pal complex restricts mobility of the chemoreceptor clusters at the cell poles and may be involved in regulatory mechanisms that co‐ordinate cell division and segregation of the chemosensory machinery.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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