Assembly of bacteriophage PRD1: Particle formation with wild-type and mutant viruses

L. Mindich, D. Bamford, T. McGraw, G. Mackenzie

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Bacteriophage PRD1 contains DNA, 17 proteins, and lipid. The assembly pathway involves the formation of empty particles that contain lipid and all of the proteins of mature virions, with the possible exception of one. The major and minor capsid proteins, P3 and P5, occur as soluble multimers before they appear in the empty particles. Nonsense mutants of PRD1 that involve structural proteins of the virion other than P3 form particles that are missing only the defective protein. Those mutants that are unable to form P3 do not form particles. Mutations in two other genes that code for nonstructural proteins (P10, which is membrane bound, and P17, which is soluble) result in the absence of particles. Protein P2 is necessary for adsorption to host cells. Protein P9 is necessary for particle filling with DNA, whereas P20 and P22 are necessary for stable DNA packaging. Electron micrographs of infected cells confirmed the gradient analysis of particle formation. No free vesicles were observed in mutants that could not form complete empty particles, indicating that there are no free intermediate particles before the empty virions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1030
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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