News Column

Findings from University of Minnesota Broaden Understanding of DNA Research

June 17, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- A new study on DNA Research is now available. According to news reporting originating from Minneapolis, Minnesota, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "The tailed double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) bacteriophage 29 packages its 19.3-kbp genome into a preassembled procapsid structure by using a transiently assembled phage-encoded molecular motor. This process is remarkable considering that compaction of DNA to near-crystalline densities within the confined space of the capsid requires that the packaging motor work against significant entropic, enthalpic, and DNA-bending energies."

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the University of Minnesota, "The motor consists of three phage-encoded components: the dodecameric connector protein gp10, an oligomeric RNA molecule known as the prohead RNA (pRNA), and the homomeric ring ATPase gp16. Although atomic resolution structures of the connector and different pRNA subdomains have been determined, the mechanism of self-assembly and the resulting stoichiometry of the various motor components on the phage capsid have been the subject of considerable controversy. Here a subnanometer asymmetric cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstruction of a connector-pRNA complex at a unique vertex of the procapsid conclusively demonstrates the pentameric symmetry of the pRNA and illuminates the relative arrangement of the connector and the pRNA. Additionally, a combination of biochemical and cryo-EM analyses of motor assembly intermediates suggests a sequence of molecular events that constitute the pathway by which the motor assembles on the head, thereby reconciling conflicting data regarding pRNA assembly and stoichiometry. Taken together, these data provide new insight into the assembly, structure, and mechanism of a complex molecular machine. Viruses consist of a protein shell, or capsid, that protects and surrounds their genetic material. Thus, genome encapsidation is a fundamental and essential step in the life cycle of any virus. In dsDNA viruses, powerful molecular motors essentially pump the viral DNA into a preformed protein shell."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "This article describes how a viral dsDNA packaging motor self-assembles on the viral capsid and provides insight into its mechanism of action."

For more information on this research see: Insights into the structure and assembly of the bacteriophage 29 double-stranded DNA packaging motor. The Journal of Virology, 2014;88(8):3986-96 (see also DNA Research).

The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting S. Cao, Dept. of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, School of Dentistry and Institute for Molecular Virology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Additional authors for this research include M. Saha, W. Zhao, P.J. Jardine, W. Zhang, S. Grimes and M.C Morais.

Keywords for this news article include: Virion, Viruses, Minnesota, Viral DNA, Minneapolis, DNA Research, Nucleocapsid, United States, Bacteriophages, Nanotechnology, Molecular Motors, Emerging Technologies, North and Central America.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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