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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Signal transduction in Halobacterium depends on fumarate.

The isolation of a straight-swimming mutant of Halobacterium halobium is reported which has a defect in switching the rotational sense of its flagellar motor. Cells of this mutant strain could be complemented with an extract from wild-type cells by mild sonication and resealing of the cells in fresh medium. The switch factor responsible for restoration of wild-type behaviour was isolated from membrane vesicle preparations. Its chemical nature is proposed to be that of fumarate on the basis of chemical, chromatographic and mass spectrometric analysis. Since the switch factor (fumarate) was released from a membrane-bound state by heat and was accumulated into mutant cells that lack this compound, it is proposed that a membrane-bound protein exists which specifically binds the switch factor. Both the switch factor and fumarate cause stimulus-induced responses in cells at the level of one or few molecules.[1]


  1. Signal transduction in Halobacterium depends on fumarate. Marwan, W., Schäfer, W., Oesterhelt, D. EMBO J. (1990) [Pubmed]
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