Send to

Choose Destination
Gene. 2000 Dec 23;259(1-2):223-33.

Structural/functional assignment of unknown bacteriophage T4 proteins by iterative database searches.

Author information

Center for Information Biology, National Institute of Genetics, 1111, Yata, Mishima, Shizuoka 411-8540, Japan.


Among the total of 274 orfs within bacteriophage T4, only half have been reasonably well characterized, and the functions of the rest have remained obscure. In order to predict the molecular functions of the orfs, a position-specific iterated (PSI)-BLAST search of bacteriophage T4 against the sequence database of known 3D structures was carried out. PSI-BLAST is one of the most powerful iterative sequence search methods using multiple sequence alignment, with the ability to detect many more proteins with distant homology than standard pairwise methods. The 3D structures of proteins are considered to be better preserved than the sequences, and the detected distantly homologous proteins are likely to possess highly similar 3D structures. Thirteen orfs of phage T4, whose homologues were not detected by standard pairwise methods, were found to have significantly homologous counterparts by this method. The plausibility of the results was confirmed by checking whether important residues at substrate/ligand-binding sites were conserved. Among them, two orfs, vs.1 and e.1, which are similar to Escherichia coli lytic enzyme and MutT protein, respectively, had not been studied previously. Also, gp rIIA, a rapid lysis protein, whose gene structure had been intensively studied during the development of molecular biology in the 1950s and yet whose molecular function remains unknown, has an N-terminal domain that is significantly similar to the N-terminal region of the heat shock protein Hsp90.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center