The Bacterial Flagellar Motor: A Brief Review of Models and a New Electrostatic Model

  • Roy Caplan
  • Dieter Walz

Abstract

The rotary motor responsible for the spinning of a bacterial flagellum is one of the most intriguing of microbiological systems, and it presents a major challenge from the viewpoint of bioenergetics. It is driven by a proton current and may be switched from counterclockwise to clockwise rotation without alteration of the direction of proton flow. A wide variety of models of the flagellar motor have been developed in recent years1. Among these, the two most convincing types of mechanism that have been analyzed quantitatively, in terms of what we know about the structure and function of the motor, are those based on fixed elastic elements analogous to muscle cross-bridges2,3,4, and those based on electrostatic interactions5,6.

Keywords

Torque Bacillus Sine 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy Caplan
    • 1
  • Dieter Walz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Membrane Research and BiophysicsThe Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.Biozentrum University of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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