Identification of an Asymmetrically Localized Sensor Histidine Kinase Responsible for Temporally and Spatially Regulated Transcription

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Science  25 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5287, pp. 597-601
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5287.597


Caulobacter crescentus undergoes asymmetric cell division, resulting in a stalked cell and a motile swarmer cell. The genes encoding external components of the flagellum are expressed in the swarmer compartment of the predivisional cell through the localized activation of the transcription factor FlbD. The mechanisms responsible for the temporal and spatial activation of FlbD were determined through identification of FlbE, a histidine kinase required for FlbD activity. FlbE is asymmetrically distributed in the predivisional cell. It is located at the pole of the stalked compartment and at the site of cell division in the swarmer compartment. These findings suggest that FlbE and FlbD are activated in response to a morphological change in the cell resulting from cell division events.