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Review
, 181 (23), 7149-53

The Bacterial Flagellum: Reversible Rotary Propellor and Type III Export Apparatus

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Review

The Bacterial Flagellum: Reversible Rotary Propellor and Type III Export Apparatus

R M Macnab. J Bacteriol.

Figures

FIG. 1
FIG. 1
The flagellum is the motor organelle for bacterial propulsion. Driven by a transmembrane proton gradient (H+h+), it rotates both CCW and CW; the filament is helical and so converts torque into thrust. The motor consists of stators or Mot complexes (red) and a rotor or C ring (green), which also serves as the CCW⇄CW switch. As well as being the organelle of motility, the flagellum is a specialized type III export apparatus (lilac), translocating subunits of its substrates (pale blue) in an ATP-dependent manner across the plane of the cytoplasmic membrane (CM) and delivering them into a central channel in the basal body-hook-filament structure where they eventually reach their assembly point at the distal end of the structure. PG, peptidoglycan layer; OM, outer membrane.

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