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National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 

Genome ejection from mature bacteriophageT4 capsids during infection

Michael Rossmann group (Purdue University) and collaborators

 

Michael Rossmann's group at Purdue University employed a combination of X-ray crystallography and electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) to investigate the mechanism of genome ejection from mature bacteriophage T4 capsids during infection. To gain insight on the process of genome ejection into the host cell, crystal structures of gp6, a baseplate protein, and gp18, a contractile tail sheath protein, were determined and fit into maps determined from electron microscopy (Aksyuk et al. Structure 17, 800-808 (2009); EMBO J. 28, 821-829 (2009)). This demonstrated that subunit motions are associated with sheath contraction and genome injection.

Figure: The role of gp18 in T4 tail contraction. (A) The crystal structure of gp18 fit into
EM density for an extended T4 tail. (B) gp18 fit into density for a contracted tail.

 

Citation:

[1]  Aksyuk, AA, Leiman, PG, Shneider, MM, Mesyanzhinov, VV, Rossmann, MG. The Structure of Gene Product 6 of Bacteriophage T4, the Hinge-Pin of the Baseplate, Structure 17 (6), 800-808 (2009). DOI: 10.1016/j.str.2009.04.005.
[2]  Aksyuk, AA, Leiman, PG, Kurochkina, LP, Shneider, MM, Kostyuchenko, VA, Mesyanzhinov, VV, Rossmann, MG. The tail sheath structure of bacteriophage T4: a molecular machine for infecting bacteria, EMBO J. 28 (7), 821-829 (2009). DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2009.36.

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