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Methanol production during chemotaxis to amino acids in Bacillus subtilis. Mol Microbiol 1997 May;24(4):869-78



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0030905518   27 Citations


The 20 common amino acids act as attractants during chemotaxis by the Gram-positive organism Bacillus subtilis. In this study, we report that all amino acids induce B. subtilis to produce methanol both upon addition and removal of the chemoeffector. Asparagine-induced methanol production is specific to the McpB receptor and aspartate-induced methanol production correlates with receptor occupancy. These findings suggest that addition and removal of all amino acids cause demethylation of specific receptors which results in methanol production. We also demonstrate that certain attractants cause greater production of methanol after multiple stimulations. CheC and CheD, while affecting the levels of receptor methylation, are not absolutely required for either methylation or demethylation. In contrast, CheY is necessary for methanol formation upon removal of attractant but not upon addition of attractant. We conclude that methanol formation due to negative stimuli indicates the existence of a unique adaptational mechanism in B. subtilis involving the response regulator, CheY.

Author List

Kirby JR, Kristich CJ, Feinberg SL, Ordal GW


John Kirby PhD Chair, Center Associate Director, Professor in the Microbiology and Immunology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Christopher J. Kristich PhD Professor in the Microbiology and Immunology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Amino Acids
Aspartic Acid
Bacillus subtilis
Bacterial Proteins
CDC2 Protein Kinase
Chemoreceptor Cells
Membrane Proteins
Methyl-Accepting Chemotaxis Proteins