Transmembrane signaling in bacterial chemoreceptors

Trends Biochem Sci. 2001 Apr;26(4):257-65. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(00)01770-9.


Bacterial chemoreceptors mediate chemotaxis by recognizing specific chemicals and regulating a noncovalently associated histidine kinase. Ligand binding to the external domain of the membrane-spanning receptor generates a transmembrane signal that modulates kinase activity inside the cell. This transmembrane signaling is being investigated by novel strategies, which have revealed a remarkably subtle conformational signal carried by a signaling helix that spans the entire length of the >350-A-long receptor. Multiple, independent lines of evidence indicate that, in the periplasmic and transmembrane domains, conformational signaling is a piston-type sliding of the signaling helix towards the cytoplasm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Bacterial Proteins