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Proceedings Paper

Mechanism of termination of bacteriophage DNA packaging investigated with optical tweezers
Author(s): Damian J. delToro; Douglas E. Smith
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Paper Abstract

The genomes of many dsDNA viruses are replicated by a mechanism that produces a long concatemer of multiple genomes. These viruses utilize multifunctional molecular motor complexes referred to as "terminases" that can excise a unit genome length of DNA and package it into preformed viral shells. Remarkably, the terminase motor can initiate packaging at the appropriate start point, translocate DNA, sense when a sufficient length has been packaged, and then switch into a mode where it arrests and cleaves the DNA to release a filled virus particle. We have recently developed an improved method to measure single phage lambda DNA packaging using dual-trap optical tweezers and pre-stalled motor-DNA-procapsid complexes. We are applying this method to test proposed mechanisms for the sensor that triggers termination; specifically a velocity-monitor model vs. energy-monitor model vs. capsid-filling monitor model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8458, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IX, 84582O (10 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.930425
Show Author Affiliations
Damian J. delToro, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Douglas E. Smith, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8458:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IX
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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