Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

The Che4 pathway of Myxococcus xanthus regulates type IV pilus-mediated motility. Mol Microbiol 2004 Jun;52(6):1799-811



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-3042590307   49 Citations


Myxococcus xanthus co-ordinates cell movement during its complex life cycle using multiple chemotaxis-like signal transduction pathways. These pathways regulate both type IV pilus-mediated social (S) motility and adventurous (A) motility. During a search for new chemoreceptors, we identified the che4 operon, which encodes homologues to a MCP (methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein), two CheWs, a hybrid CheA-CheY, a response regulator and a CheR. Deletion of the che4 operon did not cause swarming or developmental defects in either the wild-type (A(+)S(+)) strain or in a strain sustaining only A motility (A(+)S(-)). However, in a strain displaying only S motility (A(-)S(+)), deletion of the che4 operon or the gene encoding the response regulator, cheY4, caused enhanced vegetative swarming and prevented aggregation and sporulation. In contrast, deletion of mcp4 caused reduced vegetative swarming and enhanced development compared with the parent strain. Single-cell analysis of the motility of the A(-)S(+) parent strain revealed a previously unknown inverse correlation between velocity and reversal frequency. Thus, cells that moved at higher velocities showed a reduced reversal frequency. This co-ordination of reversal frequency and velocity was lost in the mcp4 and cheY4 mutants. The structural components of the S motility apparatus were unaffected in the che4 mutants, suggesting that the Che4 system affects reversal frequency of cells by modulating the function of the type IV pilus.

Author List

Vlamakis HC, Kirby JR, Zusman DR


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

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

Amino Acid Sequence
Bacterial Proteins
DNA, Bacterial
Fimbriae, Bacterial
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Gene Order
Genes, Bacterial
Genes, Reporter
Membrane Proteins
Methyl-Accepting Chemotaxis Proteins
Molecular Sequence Data
Myxococcus xanthus
Sequence Alignment
Sequence Analysis, DNA
Sequence Deletion
Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
Signal Transduction