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. 1978 Dec;15(4):1231-40.
doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(78)90049-1.

Failure of Sensory Adaptation in Bacterial Mutants That Are Defective in a Protein Methylation Reaction

Failure of Sensory Adaptation in Bacterial Mutants That Are Defective in a Protein Methylation Reaction

M F Goy et al. Cell. .

Abstract

Chemotactic bacteria, such as E. coli, detect changes in the chemical composition of the environment. Addition of an attractant or repellent leads to an immediate response, characterized by a change in the swimming behavior of the cells--a process known as sensory excitation. However, the response gradually disappears with time, despite the continued presence of the chemical--a process known as sensory adaptation. We report here the behavior of a class of nonchemotactic mutants (cheX) that can carry out sensory excitation but are defective in the process of sensory adaptation. These mutants are also defective in the ability to carry out a protein methylation reaction which has previously been implicated in the adaptation process (Goy, Springer and Adler, 1977). The results presented here establish a firm relationship between the methylation reaction and sensory adaptation.

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