The majority of bacterial chemoreceptors remain functionally un-annotated. The knowledge of chemoreceptor function, however, is indispensable to understanding the evolution of the chemotaxis system in bacteria with different lifestyles. Significant progress in the annotation of chemoreceptor function has been made using experimental strategies that are based on the individual, genetically engineered ligand binding domain (LBD) of chemoreceptors. There is now evidence that all major classes of LBDs can be produced as individual domains that retain their ligand binding activity. Here, we provide a protocol for the combined use of high-throughput ligand screening using Differential Scanning Fluorimetry followed by Isothermal Titration Calorimetry to identify and characterize ligands that bind to recombinant chemoreceptor LBDs. This approach has been shown to be very efficient for determining the function of novel chemoreceptors.
Keywords: Chemoreceptor; Differential scanning fluorimetry; Isothermal titration calorimetry; Ligand binding domain; Thermal-shift assays.