Genetic and physical maps of the Bacillus subtilis chromosome.
Sequencing of the complete Bacillus subtilis chromosome revealed the presence of approximately 4100 genes, 1000 of which were previously identified and mapped by classical genetic crosses. Comparison of these experimentally determined positions to those derived from the nucleotide sequence showed discrepancies reaching up to 24 degrees (approximately 280 kb). The size of these discrepancies as a function of their position along the chromosome is not random but, apparently, reveals some periodicity. Our analyses demonstrate that the discrepancies can be accounted for by inaccurate positioning of the early reference markers with respect to which all subsequently identified loci were mapped by transduction and transformation. We conclude (i) that specific DNA sequences, such as recombination hotspots or presence of heterologous DNA, had no detectable effect on the results obtained by classical mapping, and (ii) that PBS1 transduction appears to be an accurate and unbiased mapping method in B. subtilis. (+info)
Selection of antibody probes to correlate protein sequence domains with their structural distribution.
We propose a new approach that permits correlation of specific domains defined by their primary sequence with their location in the structure of complex macromolecular aggregates. It is based on the combination of well-established structural analysis methods that incorporate the use of overlapping peptides on cellulose membranes for the isolation and purification of specific antibodies from a polyclonal antiserum. Monospecific antibodies to the connector protein of bacteriophage phi29 were isolated from polyclonal antisera using a new development of the spotscan method. These antibodies can be purified in quantities that allow antigenicity testing in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, Western blotting and immunoprecipitations, demonstrating the specificity of this isolation procedure. This approach has allowed us to generate direct antibody probes for immunoelectron microscopy mapping of different connector protein domains in a low resolution three-dimensional epitope map. (+info)
Virus assembly: Imaging a molecular machine.
A recent structural study of a double-stranded DNA bacteriophage has provided remarkable new insights into the assembly of a complex virus particle and ushers in a new era in the imaging of non-icosahedral viruses. (+info)
Nucleotide sequence of the Bacillus subtilis temperate bacteriophage SPbetac2.
The Bacillus subtilis 168 chromosomal region extending from 184 degrees to 195 degrees, corresponding to prophage SPbeta, has been completely sequenced using DNA of the thermoinducible SPbetac2 mutant. This 134416 bp segment comprises 187 putative ORFs which, according to their orientation, were grouped into three clusters. Compared to its host, SPbetac2 is characterized by a lower G+C content, shorter mean ORF length, as well as a different usage of start codons. Nearly 75% of predicted ORFs do not share significant homologies to sequences in available databases. The only highly similar proteins to SPbetac2-encoded ones are host paralogues. SPbetac2 promoter regions contain SOS box consensus sequences and a repeated motif, designated SPbeta repeated element (SPBRE), that is absent from the host genome. Gene sspC, encoding the small acid-soluble protein C, that has been previously sequenced and mapped to the vicinity of the SPbeta region, was found to be part of the prophage. (+info)
Sequence requirement for hand-in-hand interaction in formation of RNA dimers and hexamers to gear phi29 DNA translocation motor.
Translocation of DNA or RNA is a ubiquitous phenomenon. One intricate translocation process is viral DNA packaging. During maturation, the lengthy genome of dsDNA viruses is translocated with remarkable velocity into a limited space within the procapsid. We have revealed that phi29 DNA packaging is accomplished by a mechanism similar to driving a bolt with a hex nut, which consists of six DNA-packaging pRNAs. Four bases in each of the two pRNA loops are involved in RNA/RNA interactions to form a hexagonal complex that gears the DNA translocating machine. Without considering the tertiary interaction, in some cases only two G/C pairs between the interacting loops could provide certain pRNAs with activity. When all four bases were paired, at least one G/C pair was required for DNA packaging. The maximum number of base pairings between the two loops to allow pRNA to retain wild-type activity was five, whereas the minimum number was five for one loop and three for the other. The findings were supported by phylogenetic analysis of seven pRNAs from different phages. A 75-base RNA segment, bases 23-97, was able to form dimer, to interlock into the hexamer, to compete with full-length pRNA for procapsid binding, and therefore to inhibit phi29 assembly in vitro. Our result suggests that segment 23-97 is a self-folded, independent domain involved in procapsid binding and RNA/RNA interaction in dimer and hexamer formation, whereas bases 1-22 and 98-120 are involved in DNA translocation but dispensable for RNA/RNA interaction. Therefore, this 75-base RNA could be a model for structural studies in RNA dimerization. (+info)
Replication slippage of different DNA polymerases is inversely related to their strand displacement efficiency.
Replication slippage is a particular type of error caused by DNA polymerases believed to occur both in bacterial and eukaryotic cells. Previous studies have shown that deletion events can occur in Escherichia coli by replication slippage between short duplications and that the main E. coli polymerase, DNA polymerase III holoenzyme is prone to such slippage. In this work, we present evidence that the two other DNA polymerases of E. coli, DNA polymerase I and DNA polymerase II, as well as polymerases of two phages, T4 (T4 pol) and T7 (T7 pol), undergo slippage in vitro, whereas DNA polymerase from another phage, Phi29, does not. Furthermore, we have measured the strand displacement activity of the different polymerases tested for slippage in the absence and in the presence of the E. coli single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB), and we show that: (i) polymerases having a strong strand displacement activity cannot slip (DNA polymerase from Phi29); (ii) polymerases devoid of any strand displacement activity slip very efficiently (DNA polymerase II and T4 pol); and (iii) stimulation of the strand displacement activity by E. coli SSB (DNA polymerase I and T7 pol), by phagic SSB (T4 pol), or by a mutation that affects the 3' --> 5' exonuclease domain (DNA polymerase II exo(-) and T7 pol exo(-)) is correlated with the inhibition of slippage. We propose that these observations can be interpreted in terms of a model, for which we have shown that high strand displacement activity of a polymerase diminishes its propensity to slip. (+info)
Effect of the ionic environment on the molecular structure of bacteriophage SPP1 portal protein.
Bacteriophage SPP1 portal protein is a large cyclical homo-oligomer composed of 13 subunits. The solution structure and assembly behavior of this protein with high-point rotational symmetry was characterized. The purified protein was present as a monodisperse population of 13-mers, named gp6H, at univalent salt concentrations in the hundred millimolar range (>/= 250 mM NaCl) or in the presence of bivalent cations in the millimolar range (>/= 5 mM MgCl2). Gp6H had a slightly higher sedimentation coefficient, a smaller shape-dependent frictional ratio, and a higher rate of intersubunit cross-linking in the presence of magnesium than in its absence. In the absence of bivalent cations and at univalent salt concentrations below 250 mM, the 13-mer molecules dissociated partially into stable monomers, named gp6L. The monomer had a somewhat different shape from the subunit present in the 13-mer, but maintained a defined tertiary structure. The association-dissociation equilibrium was mainly between the monomer and the 13-mer with a minor population of intermediate oligomers. Their interconversion was strongly influenced by the ionic environment. Under physiological conditions, the concentration of Mg2+ found in the Bacillus subtilis cytoplasm (10-50 mM) probably promotes complete association of gp6 into 13-mer rings with a compact conformation. (+info)
Functional interactions between a phage histone-like protein and a transcriptional factor in regulation of phi29 early-late transcriptional switch.
Protein p6 is a nonspecific DNA-binding protein occurring in high abundance in phage phi29-infected cells. Here, we demonstrate a novel role for this versatile histone-like protein: its involvement in regulating the viral switch between early and late transcription. p6 performs this role by exhibiting a reciprocal functional interaction with the regulatory protein p4, also phage encoded, which is required for repression of the early A2b and A2c promoters and activation of the late A3 promoter. On the one hand, p6 promotes p4-mediated repression of the A2b promoter and activation of the A3 promoter by enhancing binding of p4 to its recognition site at PA3; on the other, p4 promotes p6-mediated repression of the A2c promoter by favoring the formation of a stable p6-nucleoprotein complex that interferes with RNA polymerase binding to PA2c. We propose that the observed interplay between proteins p6 and p4 is based on their DNA architectural properties. (+info)