Send to

Choose Destination
Virology. 2011 Jun 5;414(2):103-9. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2011.03.020. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Toroidal surface complexes of bacteriophage ϕ12 are responsible for host-cell attachment.

Author information

Skirball Institute, Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, 540 First Ave., New York, NY 10016, USA.


Cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging are utilized to determine that the bacteriophage ϕ12, a member of the Cystoviridae family, contains surface complexes that are toroidal in shape, are composed of six globular domains with six-fold symmetry, and have a discrete density connecting them to the virus membrane-envelope surface. The lack of this kind of spike in a reassortant of ϕ12 demonstrates that the gene for the hexameric spike is located in ϕ12's medium length genome segment, likely to the P3 open reading frames which are the proteins involved in viral-host cell attachment. Based on this and on protein mass estimates derived from the obtained averaged structure, it is suggested that each of the globular domains is most likely composed of a total of four copies of P3a and/or P3c proteins. Our findings may have implications in the study of the evolution of the cystovirus species in regard to their host specificity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center