Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 1994 Feb 18;269(7):5157-62.

Characterization of the prohead-pRNA interaction of bacteriophage phi 29.

Author information

Department of Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.


The small prohead RNA (pRNA) of the Bacillus subtilis bacteriophage phi 29 is essential for ATP-dependent packaging of viral DNA. The 174-, 124-, and 120-residue forms of pRNA produced in vitro using T7 RNA polymerase were equivalent in prohead binding and DNA packaging activity to pRNAs produced in phi 29-infected cells. pRNA binding to proheads, characterized by the use of Northern hybridization and filter binding assays, was specific, rapid, and irreversible in the presence of 10 mM Mg2+. Proheads produced in phage-infected cells carried 5.8 +/- 2.7 copies of pRNA, and proheads assembled in Escherichia coli in the absence of pRNA bound 6.0 +/- 3.5 copies of pRNA. Footprints of proheads on pRNA generated with the ribonucleases A, T1, and V1 showed that nucleotides 22-84, 5' to 3', were protected from ribonuclease attack. Enhanced cleavage at nucleotides 37-40 with ribonuclease V1 suggested a conformational change of pRNA upon prohead binding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center