TitleChemotaxis receptor complexes: from signaling to assembly.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsEndres, RG, Falke, JJ, Wingreen, NS
JournalPLoS Comput Biol
Date Published2007 Jul
KeywordsBacterial Proteins, Chemoreceptor Cells, Chemotactic Factors, Chemotaxis, Computer Simulation, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Proteins, Models, Biological, Receptors, Cell Surface, Signal Transduction

Complexes of chemoreceptors in the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane allow for the sensing of ligands with remarkable sensitivity. Despite the excellent characterization of the chemotaxis signaling network, very little is known about what controls receptor complex size. Here we use in vitro signaling data to model the distribution of complex sizes. In particular, we model Tar receptors in membranes as an ensemble of different sized oligomer complexes, i.e., receptor dimers, dimers of dimers, and trimers of dimers, where the relative free energies, including receptor modification, ligand binding, and interaction with the kinase CheA determine the size distribution. Our model compares favorably with a variety of signaling data, including dose-response curves of receptor activity and the dependence of activity on receptor density in the membrane. We propose that the kinetics of complex assembly can be measured in vitro from the temporal response to a perturbation of the complex free energies, e.g., by addition of ligand.

Alternate JournalPLoS Comput. Biol.