Mechanisms of E. coli chemotaxis signaling pathways visualized using cryoET and computational approaches.
Hadjidemetriou K., Kaur S., Cassidy CK., Zhang P.
Chemotaxis signaling pathways enable bacteria to sense and respond to their chemical environment and, in some species, are critical for lifestyle processes such as biofilm formation and pathogenesis. The signal transduction underlying chemotaxis behavior is mediated by large, highly ordered protein complexes known as chemosensory arrays. For nearly two decades, cryo-electron tomography (cryoET) has been used to image chemosensory arrays, providing an increasingly detailed understanding of their structure and function. In this mini-review, we provide an overview of the use of cryoET to study chemosensory arrays, including imaging strategies, key results, and outstanding questions. We further discuss the application of molecular modeling and simulation techniques to complement structure determination efforts and provide insight into signaling mechanisms. We close the review with a brief outlook, highlighting promising future directions for the field.