Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine. Clinical laboratory and biomedical science related news, abstracts and images for medical laboratory professionals, students and other laboratory geeks.
Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Virus grows a temporary tube to inject DNA
Prokaryotic viruses have evolved various mechanisms to transport their genomes across bacterial cell walls. Many bacteriophages use a tail to perform this function, whereas tail-less phages rely on host organelles. However, the tail-less, icosahedral, single-stranded DNA ΦX174-like coliphages do not fall into these well-defined infection processes. For these phages, DNA delivery requires a DNA pilot protein. Here we show that the ΦX174 pilot protein H oligomerizes to form a tube whose function is most probably to deliver the DNA genome across the host’s periplasmic space to the cytoplasm.