Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Basis For DNA Ejection From Single Phage Particles

Date:
March 12, 2005
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Studying phage, a primitive class of virus that infects bacteria by injecting its genomic DNA into host cells, researchers have gained insight into the driving force behind this poorly understood injection process, which has been proposed in the past to occur through the release of pressure accumulated within the viral particle itself.

Studying phage, a primitive class of virus that infects bacteria by injecting its genomic DNA into host cells, researchers have gained insight into the driving force behind this poorly understood injection process, which has been proposed in the past to occur through the release of pressure accumulated within the viral particle itself.

Related Articles


Almost all phages (also known as bacteriophages) are formed of a capsid structure, or head, in which the viral genome is packaged during morphogenesis, and a tail structure that ensures the attachment of the phage to the host bacteria. A common feature of phages is that during infection, only their genome is transferred to the bacterial host's cytoplasm, whereas the capsid and tail remain bound to the cell surface. This situation is very different from that found in most eukaryotic viruses, including those that infect humans, in that the envelope of these viruses fuses with the host plasma membrane so that the genome is delivered without directly contacting the membrane.

Phage nucleic acid transport poses a fascinating biophysical problem: Transport is unidirectional and linear; it concerns a unique molecule the size of which may represent 50 times that of the bacterium. The driving force for DNA transport is still poorly defined. It was hypothesized that the internal pressure built during packaging of the DNA in the phage capsid was responsible for DNA ejection. This pressure results from the condensation of the DNA during morphogenesis – for example, another group recently showed that the pressure at the final stage of encapsulation for a particular bacteriophage reached a value of 60 atomospheres, which is close to ten times the pressure inside a bottle of champagne. In the new work reported this week, researchers have evaluated whether the energy thus stored is sufficient to permit phage DNA ejection, or only to initiate that process.

The researchers used fluorescently labeled phage DNA to investigate in real time (and with a resolution time of 750 milliseconds) the dynamics of DNA ejection from single phages. The ejected DNA was measured at different stages of the ejection process after being stretched by applied hydrodynamic flow. The study demonstrated that DNA release is not an all-or-none process, but rather is unexpectedly complex. DNA release occurred at a very high rate, reaching 75,000 base pairs of DNA/sec, but in a stepwise fashion. Pausing times were observed during ejection, and ejection was transiently arrested at definite positions of the genome in close proximity to genetically defined physical interruptions in the DNA. The authors discuss the relevance of this stepwise ejection to the transfer of phage DNA in vivo.

###

Stéphanie Mangenot, Marion Hochrein, Joachim Rädler, and Lucienne Letellier: "Real-Time Imaging of DNA Ejection from Single Phage Particles"

The other members of the research team include Stéphanie Mangenot of the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, UMR CNRS at Université Paris Sud; Marion Hochrein and Joachim Rädler of Ludwig Maximilian Universität; and Lucienne Letellier of the Institut de Biochimie et Biophysique Moléculaire et Cellulaire, UMR, CNRS at Université Paris Sud. This project was supported in part by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique program "Dynamique et Réactivité des Assemblages Biologiques" and by SFB 563 "Bioorganic Functional Systems on Solids."

Publishing in Current Biology, Volume 15, Number 5, March 8, 2005, pages 430-435. http://www.current-biology.com


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Basis For DNA Ejection From Single Phage Particles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050310103113.htm>.
Cell Press. (2005, March 12). Basis For DNA Ejection From Single Phage Particles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050310103113.htm
Cell Press. "Basis For DNA Ejection From Single Phage Particles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050310103113.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins