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Structural framework for DNA translocation via the viral portal protein

Lebedev, A.A., Krause, M.H., Isidro, A.L., Vagin, A.A., Orlova, E.V., Turner, J., Dodson, E.J., Tavares, P. and Antson, A.A. (2007) Structural framework for DNA translocation via the viral portal protein. EMBO Journal, 26 (7). pp. 1984-1994. ISSN 0261-4189

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Tailed bacteriophages and herpesviruses load their capsids with DNA through a tunnel formed by the portal protein assembly. Here we describe the X-ray structure of the bacteriophage SPP1 portal protein in its isolated 13-subunit form and the pseudoatomic structure of a 12-subunit assembly. The first defines the DNA-interacting segments (tunnel loops) that pack tightly against each other forming the most constricted part of the tunnel; the second shows that the functional dodecameric state must induce variability in the loop positions. Structural observations together with geometrical constraints dictate that in the portal–DNA complex, the loops form an undulating belt that fits and tightly embraces the helical DNA, suggesting that DNA translocation is accompanied by a 'mexican wave' of positional and conformational changes propagating sequentially along this belt.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Chemistry (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2009 13:25
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2009 13:25
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.emboj.7601643
Status: Published
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Identification Number: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7601643
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6083

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