Cooperative model of bacterial sensing

Yu Shi, Thomas Duke
1998 Physical review. E, Statistical physics, plasmas, fluids, and related interdisciplinary topics  
Bacterial chemotaxis is controlled by the signalling of a cluster of receptors. A cooperative model is presented, in which coupling between neighbouring receptor dimers enhances the sensitivity with which stimuli can be detected, without diminishing the range of chemoeffector concentration over which chemotaxis can operate. Individual receptor dimers have two stable conformational states: one active, one inactive. Noise gives rise to a distribution between these states, with the probability
more » ... uenced by ligand binding, and also by the conformational states of adjacent receptor dimers. The two-state model is solved, based on an equivalence with the Ising model in a randomly distributed magnetic field. The model has only two effective parameters, and unifies a number of experimental findings. According to the value of the parameter comparing coupling and noise, the signal can be arbitrarily sensitive to changes in the fraction of receptor dimers to which ligand is bound. The counteracting effect of a change of methylation level is mapped to an induced field in the Ising model. By returning the activity to the pre-stimulus level, this adapts the receptor cluster to a new ambient concentration of chemoeffector and ensures that a sensitive response can be maintained over a wide range of concentrations.
doi:10.1103/physreve.58.6399 fatcat:cthy2mjwo5h7he4d42tsqqf4ge