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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 60, Issue 11, pp 2356–2370 | Cite as

Structure and morphogenesis of bacteriophage T4

  • P. G. Leiman
  • S. Kanamaru
  • V. V. Mesyanzhinov
  • F. Arisaka
  • M. G. Rossmann
Review

Abstract

Bacteriophage T4 is one of the most complex viruses. More than 40 different proteins form the mature virion, which consists of a protein shell encapsidating a 172-kbp double-stranded genomic DNA, a ‘tail,’ and fibers, attached to the distal end of the tail. The fibers and the tail carry the host cell recognition sensors and are required for attachment of the phage to the cell surface. The tail also serves as a channel for delivery of the phage DNA from the head into the host cell cytoplasm. The tail is attached to the unique ‘portal’ vertex of the head through which the phage DNA is packaged during head assembly. Similar to other phages, and also herpes viruses, the unique vertex is occupied by a dodecameric portal protein, which is involved in DNA packaging.

Bacteriophage T4 baseplate contractile tail DNA packaging fibrous protein phage infection prolate head capsid 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser-Verlag Basel 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. G. Leiman
    • 1
  • S. Kanamaru
    • 1
  • V. V. Mesyanzhinov
    • 2
  • F. Arisaka
    • 3
  • M. G. Rossmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesPurdue UniversityIndianaWest Lafayette
  2. 2.Laboratory of Molecular BioengineeringShemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic ChemistryMoscow
  3. 3.Department of Life Science, Faculty of Bioscience and BiotechnologyTokyo Institute of TechnologyYokohamaMidori-ku

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