Medical College of Wisconsin
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Chemotactic methylesterase promotes adaptation to high concentrations of attractant in Bacillus subtilis. J Biol Chem 1993 Sep 05;268(25):18610-6



Pubmed ID


Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0027194322 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   49 Citations


The Bacillus subtilis gene encoding CheB (cheBB), the chemotactic methylesterase, has been sequenced. The 39-kDa protein which resulted from the expression of cheBB, using a T7 expression system was consistent with the predicted open reading frame. CheBB shares 39.5% identity with Escherichia coli CheBE and can complement a cheBE null mutant. CheBB is required for removal of methyl groups from the receptors upon attractant stimulus and appears to play an important role in adaptation to the addition of attractants, whereas CheBE plays an important role in adaptation to the addition of repellents. Unlike the cheBE and cheRE mutants of E. coli, which show extreme flagellar rotational biases, the unstimulated cheBB mutant showed a normal (wild type) bias. Upon addition of attractant, the cheBB null mutant showed a counter-clockwise bias that was higher than for wild type and demonstrated only partial adaptation. In the capillary assay for the attractant azetidine-2-carboxylic acid, the mutant gave a wild type response at low concentrations but a very reduced response at high concentrations. We conclude that B. subtilis has an effective methylation-independent adaptation system but must utilize the methylation system for adaptation to high concentrations of attractant.

Author List

Kirsch ML, Peters PD, Hanlon DW, Kirby JR, Ordal GW


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
Bacillus subtilis
Base Sequence
Capillary Action
Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
Chemotactic Factors
Cloning, Molecular
DNA Restriction Enzymes
DNA, Bacterial
Escherichia coli
Gene Expression
Genes, Bacterial
Molecular Sequence Data
Sequence Homology, Amino Acid