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Aspartate receptor

The Methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCP, also aspartate receptor) are a family of transmembrane receptors that mediate chemotactic response in certain enteric bacteria, such as Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli. These methyl-accepting chemotaxis receptors are one of the first components in the sensory excitation and adaptation responses in bacteria, which act to alter swimming behaviour upon detection of specific chemicals. Use of the MCP allows bacteria to detect concentrations of molecules in the extracellular matrix so that the bacteria may smooth swim or tumble accordingly. If the bacterium detects rising levels of attractants (nutrients) or declining levels of repellents (toxins), the bacterium will continue swimming forward, or smooth swimming. If the bacterium detects declining levels of attractants or rising levels of repellents, the bacterium will tumble and re-orient itself in a new direction. In this manner, a bacterium may swim towards nutrients and away from toxins

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