Structural changes in bacteriophage T7 upon receptor-induced genome ejection.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Wenyuan ChenLingpeng Cheng

Abstract

Many tailed bacteriophages assemble ejection proteins and a portal-tail complex at a unique vertex of the capsid. The ejection proteins form a transenvelope channel extending the portal-tail channel for the delivery of genomic DNA in cell infection. Here, we report the structure of the mature bacteriophage T7, including the ejection proteins, as well as the structures of the full and empty T7 particles in complex with their cell receptor lipopolysaccharide. Our near-atomic-resolution reconstruction shows that the ejection proteins in the mature T7 assemble into a core, which comprises a fourfold gene product 16 (gp16) ring, an eightfold gp15 ring, and a putative eightfold gp14 ring. The gp15 and gp16 are mainly composed of helix bundles, and gp16 harbors a lytic transglycosylase domain for degrading the bacterial peptidoglycan layer. When interacting with the lipopolysaccharide, the T7 tail nozzle opens. Six copies of gp14 anchor to the tail nozzle, extending the nozzle across the lipopolysaccharide lipid bilayer. The structures of gp15 and gp16 in the mature T7 suggest that they should undergo remarkable conformational changes to form the transenvelope channel. Hydrophobic α-helices were observed in gp16 but not in gp15, sugge...Continue Reading

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