Dissecting the Three-Protein Brain of a Bacterium: E. coli's Chemosensory Array

Motile E. coli cells monitor and track spatial gradients of nutrients in their environment. Their sensing/signaling macinery consists of transmembrane chemoreceptors networked into a supramolecular signaling array by two cytoplasmic protein partners. Concerted genetic, computational and structural approaches are revealing the structural and functional operating principles of this remarkable “brain”.