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Science. 2002 Mar 15;295(5562):2091-4.

Reverse transcriptase-mediated tropism switching in Bordetella bacteriophage.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

Abstract

Host-pathogen interactions are often driven by mechanisms that promote genetic variability. We have identified a group of temperate bacteriophages that generate diversity in a gene, designated mtd (major tropism determinant), which specifies tropism for receptor molecules on host Bordetella species. Tropism switching is the result of a template-dependent, reverse transcriptase-mediated process that introduces nucleotide substitutions at defined locations within mtd. This cassette-based mechanism is capable of providing a vast repertoire of potential ligand-receptor interactions.

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PMID:
11896279
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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