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J Mol Biol. 1994 Apr 29;238(2):187-98.

pIV, a filamentous phage protein that mediates phage export across the bacterial cell envelope, forms a multimer.

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Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021.


Filamentous phage pIV is an outer membrane protein required for phage assembly and secretion. Chemical cross-linking and sedimentation experiments have been used to demonstrate that pIV from f1-infected Escherichia coli exists as a homo-multimer, probably composed of 10 to 12 subunits. pIV secreted from spheroplasts remains soluble and does not form multimers. Synthesis of pIV from distantly related filamentous phages or from a bacterial homolog that participates in a specialized form of extra-cellular protein secretion in the same cell with pIVf1 resulted in the formation of mixed multimers. This suggests that the homologous proteins themselves form homo-multimers. These structures could form gated channels that conduct assembling phage or specific substrate proteins across the outer membrane to the extracellular milieu.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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