Dual stator dynamics in the Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 flagellar motor.
Paulick A., Delalez NJ., Brenzinger S., Steel BC., Berry RM., Armitage JP., Thormann KM.
The bacterial flagellar motor is an intricate nanomachine which converts ion gradients into rotational movement. Torque is created by ion-dependent stator complexes which surround the rotor in a ring. Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 expresses two distinct types of stator units: the Na(+)-dependent PomA4 B2 and the H(+)-dependent MotA4 B2. Here, we have explored the stator unit dynamics in the MR-1 flagellar system by using mCherry-labeled PomAB and MotAB units. We observed a total of between 7 and 11 stator units in each flagellar motor. Both types of stator units exchanged between motors and a pool of stator complexes in the membrane, and the exchange rate of MotAB, but not of PomAB, units was dependent on the environmental Na(+)-levels. In 200 mM Na(+), the numbers of PomAB and MotAB units in wild-type motors was determined to be about 7:2 (PomAB:MotAB), shifting to about 6:5 without Na(+). Significantly, the average swimming speed of MR-1 cells at low Na(+) conditions was increased in the presence of MotAB. These data strongly indicate that the S. oneidensis flagellar motors simultaneously use H(+) and Na(+) driven stators in a configuration governed by MotAB incorporation efficiency in response to environmental Na(+) levels.