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Gene Review

fliC  -  flagellar filament structural protein...

Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Synonyms: ECK1922, JW1908, flaF, hag
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Disease relevance of fliC

  • The sequences fall into two groups, one of which may be derived from the fliC gene of the E. coli/Salmonella enterica common ancestor, the other perhaps obtained by lateral transfer since species divergence [1].
  • Sequence and genetic analysis of multiple flagellin-encoding genes from Proteus mirabilis [2].
  • The sequence analysis revealed that the first ORF corresponds to the fliC gene coding for flagellin, and showed a high degree of homology between the N-terminal and C-terminal of Xenorhabdus FliC and flagellins from other bacteria [3].
  • In order to better understand the regulation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa flagellin expression we cloned the sigma factor of RNA polymerase used to transcribe the flagellin gene [4].
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus FlaJ, a homologue of FliS, is required for production of a flagellin [5].

High impact information on fliC

  • Under normal conditions, this value is about 6 X 10(-4) pmoles cysteine per pmole flagellin [6].
  • We have detected the incorporation of trace quantities of 35S-cysteine into flagellin, highly purified and then resolved by SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, to measure mistranslation in vivo [6].
  • Calladine and ourselves have presented models to explain such polymorphism, assuming that protein subunits (flagellin) in a flagellum can be transformed into two conformations (L- and R-states) depending on the species of flagellin and on the environmental conditions [7].
  • Analysis of a chimeric flgJ-NPT II transcriptional fusion showed that the flgJ regulatory sequences do not control the segregation of the 29K flagellin to the swarmer cell progeny, suggesting that correct segregation depends on the protein product [8].
  • The 29K flagellin was found only in the progeny swarmer cell after cell division [8].

Chemical compound and disease context of fliC


Biological context of fliC


Anatomical context of fliC

  • Analysis of axial proteins secreted into the culture medium by the original P. mirabilis flgN mutant demonstrated that export of FlgK and FlgL was specifically reduced, with concomitant increased release of unpolymerized flagellin (FliC), the immediately distal component of the flagellum [18].
  • We report here that fliC insertional mutants constructed in two wild-type EPEC strains were markedly impaired in adherence and microcolony formation on cultured cells [19].
  • However, immunofluorescence microscopy suggested that the fliC mutant was less capable of forming a close association with the colonic epithelium [13].
  • Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli expresses a novel flagellin that causes IL-8 release from intestinal epithelial cells [11].
  • Multiple strains of colitic mice had elevated serum anti-flagellin IgG2a responses and Th1 T cell responses to flagellin [20].

Associations of fliC with chemical compounds


Other interactions of fliC

  • The acnB lesion did not alter fliC transcription, nor did apo-AcnB select the fliC transcript from a library of S. enterica transcripts; thus, the effect of AcnB on FliC is indirect [25].
  • Motility development of Salmonella typhimurium cells with flaV mutations after addition of exogenous flagellin [26].
  • Furthermore, the 22-kDa flagellin was no longer detected in flbA pseudorevertants that assembled functional filaments [27].
  • In this study, we analyzed the nucleotide (nt) and amino acid (aa) sequences, and expression of the P. mirabilis flagellin-encoding gene (fliC) region [2].
  • Expression of thioredoxin random peptide libraries on the Escherichia coli cell surface as functional fusions to flagellin: a system designed for exploring protein-protein interactions [28].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of fliC

  • To better define the functions of these genes, immunoprecipitation studies, Western blot (immunoblot) analyses, and electron microscopic analyses characterized flagellin synthesis and assembly in mutant and merodiploid strains [27].
  • Northern blot analysis revealed two flagellin transcripts with the expected size of monocistronic mRNAs [29].
  • Western blot analysis showed that all the mutants had considerably reduced levels of both flagellin subunits and of FlgE, the flagellar hook protein [30].
  • The E. coli detection assay consists of a triplex PCR amplification targeting genes that encode 16S ribosomal RNA, the fliC flagellar antigen, and the sltI shigatoxin [31].
  • In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, purified HosA protein bound specifically to the fliC promoter, indicating that HosA directly modulates flagellin expression [32].


  1. Species-wide variation in the Escherichia coli flagellin (H-antigen) gene. Wang, L., Rothemund, D., Curd, H., Reeves, P.R. J. Bacteriol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  2. Sequence and genetic analysis of multiple flagellin-encoding genes from Proteus mirabilis. Belas, R., Flaherty, D. Gene (1994) [Pubmed]
  3. Cloning and nucleotide sequence of a flagellin encoding genetic locus from Xenorhabdus nematophilus: phase variation leads to differential transcription of two flagellar genes (fliCD). Givaudan, A., Lanois, A., Boemare, N. Gene (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. The fliA (rpoF) gene of Pseudomonas aeruginosa encodes an alternative sigma factor required for flagellin synthesis. Starnbach, M.N., Lory, S. Mol. Microbiol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  5. Vibrio parahaemolyticus FlaJ, a homologue of FliS, is required for production of a flagellin. Stewart, B.J., McCarter, L.L. Mol. Microbiol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  6. Mistranslation in E. coli. Edelmann, P., Gallant, J. Cell (1977) [Pubmed]
  7. Formation of helical filaments by copolymerization of two types of 'straight' flagellins. Kamiya, R., Asakura, S., Yamaguchi, S. Nature (1980) [Pubmed]
  8. Control of synthesis and positioning of a Caulobacter crescentus flagellar protein. Loewy, Z.G., Bryan, R.A., Reuter, S.H., Shapiro, L. Genes Dev. (1987) [Pubmed]
  9. The flagellin N-methylase gene fliB and an adjacent serovar-specific IS200 element in Salmonella typhimurium. Burnens, A.P., Stanley, J., Sack, R., Hunziker, P., Brodard, I., Nicolet, J. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (1997) [Pubmed]
  10. Imprecise excision of insertion element IS5 from the fliC gene contributes to flagellar diversity in Escherichia coli. Strauch, E., Beutin, L. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (2006) [Pubmed]
  11. Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli expresses a novel flagellin that causes IL-8 release from intestinal epithelial cells. Steiner, T.S., Nataro, J.P., Poteet-Smith, C.E., Smith, J.A., Guerrant, R.L. J. Clin. Invest. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. Effect of salicylate on expression of flagella by Escherichia coli and Proteus, Providencia, and Pseudomonas spp. Kunin, C.M., Hua, T.H., Bakaletz, L.O. Infect. Immun. (1995) [Pubmed]
  13. Reduced virulence of an fliC mutant of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli O113:H21. Rogers, T.J., Paton, J.C., Wang, H., Talbot, U.M., Paton, A.W. Infect. Immun. (2006) [Pubmed]
  14. Nucleotide sequence of the hag gene encoding flagellin of Escherichia coli. Kuwajima, G., Asaka, J., Fujiwara, T., Fujiwara, T., Node, K., Kondo, E. J. Bacteriol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  15. Regulation of expression of the flagellin gene (hag) in Escherichia coli K-12: analysis of hag-lac gene fusions. Komeda, Y., Iino, T. J. Bacteriol. (1979) [Pubmed]
  16. Decrease in expression of the master operon of flagellin synthesis in a dnaA46 mutant of Escherichia coli. Mizushima, T., Koyanagi, R., Katayama, T., Miki, T., Sekimizu, K. Biol. Pharm. Bull. (1997) [Pubmed]
  17. Segment IV of a Salmonella flagellin gene specifies flagellar antigen epitopes. Newton, S.M., Wasley, R.D., Wilson, A., Rosenberg, L.T., Miller, J.F., Stocker, B.A. Mol. Microbiol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  18. Substrate-specific binding of hook-associated proteins by FlgN and FliT, putative chaperones for flagellum assembly. Fraser, G.M., Bennett, J.C., Hughes, C. Mol. Microbiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  19. The flagella of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli mediate adherence to epithelial cells. Girón, J.A., Torres, A.G., Freer, E., Kaper, J.B. Mol. Microbiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  20. Bacterial flagellin is a dominant antigen in Crohn disease. Lodes, M.J., Cong, Y., Elson, C.O., Mohamath, R., Landers, C.J., Targan, S.R., Fort, M., Hershberg, R.M. J. Clin. Invest. (2004) [Pubmed]
  21. The global regulatory hns gene negatively affects adhesion to solid surfaces by anaerobically grown Escherichia coli by modulating expression of flagellar genes and lipopolysaccharide production. Landini, P., Zehnder, A.J. J. Bacteriol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  22. Both the extracellular leucine-rich repeat domain and the kinase activity of FSL2 are required for flagellin binding and signaling in Arabidopsis. Gómez-Gómez, L., Bauer, Z., Boller, T. Plant Cell (2001) [Pubmed]
  23. Production of specific monoclonal antibodies to Salmonella typhi flagellin and possible application to immunodiagnosis of typhoid fever. Sadallah, F., Brighouse, G., Del Giudice, G., Drager-Dayal, R., Hocine, M., Lambert, P.H. J. Infect. Dis. (1990) [Pubmed]
  24. Conditioned medium from enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli-infected T84 cells inhibits signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 activation by gamma interferon. Jandu, N., Ceponis, P.J., Kato, S., Riff, J.D., McKay, D.M., Sherman, P.M. Infect. Immun. (2006) [Pubmed]
  25. Post-transcriptional regulation of bacterial motility by aconitase proteins. Tang, Y., Guest, J.R., Artymiuk, P.J., Read, R.C., Green, J. Mol. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  26. Motility development of Salmonella typhimurium cells with flaV mutations after addition of exogenous flagellin. Kagawa, H., Nishiyama, T., Yamaguchi, S. J. Bacteriol. (1983) [Pubmed]
  27. Characterization of strains containing mutations in the contiguous flaF, flbT, or flbA-flaG transcription unit and identification of a novel fla phenotype in Caulobacter crescentus. Schoenlein, P.V., Ely, B. J. Bacteriol. (1989) [Pubmed]
  28. Expression of thioredoxin random peptide libraries on the Escherichia coli cell surface as functional fusions to flagellin: a system designed for exploring protein-protein interactions. Lu, Z., Murray, K.S., Van Cleave, V., LaVallie, E.R., Stahl, M.L., McCoy, J.M. Biotechnology (N.Y.) (1995) [Pubmed]
  29. A flagellar gene cluster from the oral spirochaete Treponema maltophilum. Heuner, K., Grosse, K., Schade, R., Gobel, U.B. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (2000) [Pubmed]
  30. Mutational analysis of genes encoding the early flagellar components of Helicobacter pylori: evidence for transcriptional regulation of flagellin A biosynthesis. Allan, E., Dorrell, N., Foynes, S., Anyim, M., Wren, B.W. J. Bacteriol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  31. Integrated portable genetic analysis microsystem for pathogen/infectious disease detection. Lagally, E.T., Scherer, J.R., Blazej, R.G., Toriello, N.M., Diep, B.A., Ramchandani, M., Sensabaugh, G.F., Riley, L.W., Mathies, R.A. Anal. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  32. HosA, a member of the SlyA family, regulates motility in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. Ferrándiz, M.J., Bishop, K., Williams, P., Withers, H. Infect. Immun. (2005) [Pubmed]
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