The archaeal motility structure (flagellum /archaellum)
During an initial structural and proteomic survey of the model archaeal microbe Methanospirillum hungatei we identified proteins comprising the attached cellular flagellum. Little was previously known about these archaeal appendages and we therefore characterized them and obtained the first atomic-level structure of a model archaeal flagellum. The findings reveal properties distinct from the bacterial flagellar counterpart regarding subunit size, post translational modifications and tertiary structure. Experiments are continuing to further characterize the post translational glycan modifications to the M. hungatei flagellum in collaborations by the Gunsalus and Loo Laboratories of the UCLA-DOE Institute.