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Gene. 1997 Jun 11;192(1):23-32.

Filamentous phage assembly: variation on a protein export theme.

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The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Biogenesis of both filamentous phage and type-IV pili involves the assembly of many copies of a small, integral inner membrane protein (the phage major coat protein or pilin) into a helical, tubular array that passes through the outer membrane. The occurrence of related proteins required for assembly and export in both systems suggests that there may be similarities at the mechanistic level as well. This report summarizes the properties of filamentous phage and the proteins required for their assembly, with particular emphasis on features they may share with bacterial protein export and pilus biogenesis systems, and it presents evidence that supports the hypothesis that one of the phage proteins functions as an outer membrane export channel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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