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J Struct Biol. 2004 Apr-May;146(1-2):72-8.

Recruitment of host ATP-dependent proteases by bacteriophage lambda.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


Upon infection of a bacterial cell, the temperate bacteriophage lambda executes a regulated temporal program with two possible outcomes: (1) Cell lysis and virion production or (2) establishment of a dormant state, lysogeny, in which the phage genome (prophage) is integrated into the host chromosome. The prophage is replicated passively as part of the host chromosome until it is induced to resume the lytic cycle. In this review, we summarize the evidence that implicates every known ATP-dependent protease in the regulation of specific steps in the phage life cycle. The proteolysis of specific regulatory proteins appears to fine-tune phage gene expression. The bacteriophage utilizes multiple proteases to irreversibly inactivate specific regulators resulting in a temporally regulated program of gene expression. Evolutionary forces may have favored the utilization of overlapping protease specificities for differential proteolysis of phage regulators according to different phage life styles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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