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Yap, ML and Rossmann, MG (2014) Structure and function of bacteriophage T4. Future Microbiol 9:1319-27
Bacteriophage T4 is the most well-studied member of Myoviridae, the most complex family of tailed phages. T4 assembly is divided into three independent pathways: the head, the tail and the long tail fibers. The prolate head encapsidates a 172 kbp concatemeric dsDNA genome. The 925 Å-long tail is surrounded by the contractile sheath and ends with a hexagonal baseplate. Six long tail fibers are attached to the baseplate's periphery and are the host cell's recognition sensors. The sheath and the baseplate undergo large conformational changes during infection. X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy have provided structural information on protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions that regulate conformational changes during assembly and infection of Escherichia coli cells.
Bacteriophage T4/genetics; Bacteriophage T4/physiology; Bacteriophage T4/ultrastructure; Cryoelectron Microscopy; Crystallography, X-Ray; Escherichia coli/virology; Genome, Viral; Models, Molecular; Protein Conformation; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Viral Proteins/chemistry; Viral Proteins/genetics; Virus Assembly