The proton motive force determines Escherichia coli’s robustness to extracellular pH

Microbiology Seminar Series

  • Date: May 31, 2021
  • Time: 16:00
  • Speaker: Prof. Teuta Pilizota
  • The University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Location: Zoom
  • Host: Dr. Andreas Diepold
  • Contact: andreas.diepold@mpi-marburg.mpg.de

Living cells can maintain their internal properties within a certain range, so-called homeostasis, e.g. intracellular pH. However, pH homeostasis has thus far not been looked at in the context of all the cellular physiological variables that are influenced by it, and the intertwined nature of these variables suggests that we need to so, to understand the homeostasis of even just one of them.

Here we build a simplified mathematical model of cellular electrophysiology. We find that the strength of the PMF determines the range of extracellular pH over which the cell preserves a near-neutral cytoplasmic pH. We employ assays for time-course, single-cell, concurrent measurements of PMF and pH and find agreement with our model prediction.


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