Identification of a Morphogenic Intermediate of the Bacteriophage Mu Baseplate


Bacteriophage morphogenesis is a model system for investigating sequential molecular assembly. The Mu phage is one of the most classical Myoviridae. Although it is well known as a mobile genetic element, the details of its morphogenesis remain unclear. Analysis of conditional lethal mutants and genome analysis of the Mu phage have suggested that genes 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, and 48 are essential for its baseplate assembly. Since we have already reported X-ray structures of the products of genes 44 (gp44) and 45 (gp45), we here tried to purify the remaining Mu phage baseplate subunits, gp42, gp43, gp46, gp47, and gp48, to investigate the baseplate assembly process. In the case of gp42 expression, the transformed E. coli cells showed growth inhibition after induction and no gp42 fractions were observed. However, gp43, gp46, gp47, and gp48 were successfully expressed and purified, although gp48 could not be applied to further analysis, because the amount of soluble fraction was very low. Based on analytical ultracentrifugation, we concluded that gp43 formed a monomer, gp46 was a monomer, and gp47 occurred as both a monomer and dimer in solution. Moreover, we found that gp43 and gp45 formed an intermediate complex in the baseplate assembly process.

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Tsukamoto, N. , Kanazawa, Y. , Shimamori, Y. , Yoshida, K. and Takeda, S. (2014) Identification of a Morphogenic Intermediate of the Bacteriophage Mu Baseplate. Advances in Microbiology, 4, 1155-1163. doi: 10.4236/aim.2014.416125.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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