Eight Caulobacter crescentus flagellar genes, flmA, flmB, flmC, flmD, flmE, flmF, flmG, and flmH, have been cloned and characterized. These eight genes are clustered in pairs (flmAB, flmCD, flmEEF, and flmGH) that appear to be structurally organized as operons. Homology comparisons suggest that the proteins encoded by the flm genes may be involved in posttranslational modification of flagellins or proteins that interact with flagellin monomers prior to their assembly into a flagellar filament. Expression of the flmAB, flmEF, and flmGH operons was shown to occur primarily in predivisional cells. In contrast, the flmCD operon was expressed throughout the cell cycle, with only a twofold increase in predivisional cells. The expression of the three temporally regulated operons was subject to positive regulation by the CtrA response regulator protein. Mutations in class II and III flagellar genes had no significant effect on the expression of the flm genes. Furthermore, the flm genes did not affect the expression of class II or class III flagellar genes. However, mutations in the tim genes did result in reduced synthesis of the class IV flagellin proteins. Taken together, these data indicate that the flm operons belong to a new class of flagellar genes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology