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J Supramol Struct. 1976;5(4):475-95.

Comparison of the structural and chemical composition of giant T-even phage heads.

Abstract

A study has been made of the structure of the capsids of T4D giant phage produced from mutants in gene 23 and temperature-sensitive mutants in gene 24, and T4D and T2L giant phage formed by the addition of L-canavanine followed by an Larginine chase in the growth medium. All the giant phage capsids have been shown to be built according to the same geometrical architecture. This consists of a near-hexagonal surface net, lattice constant 129.5 A, folded into a left-handed T = 13 prolate icosahedron elongated along one of its fivefold symmetry axes. Their only apparent difference from wild-type T-even phage capsids is their abnormally elongated tubular part. A comparison of the capsomere morphologies and protein compositions of the giant phage capsids showed that all T4D giants are identical but differ from T2L: The T4D capsomere has a complex (6 + 6 + 1)-type morphology, whereas the T2L has a simple 6-type. T2L phage, however, lack two capsid proteins, "soc" and "hoc", present in T4D. The difference in capsomere morphology can therefore be related to the difference in the protein compositions of these two phage. Possible differences between the initiation and means of length regulation of giant phage heads and the aberrant polyheads are discussed.

PMID:
1027922
DOI:
10.1002/jss.400050406
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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