The structure of the lipid-containing bacteriophage PR4 was studied using two alkyl imidates, ethyl acetimidate (EAI), a reagent permeant to lipid bilayers and isethionyl acetimidate (IAI), which is impermeant to membranes. The virion is an icosahedral particle consisting of a protein coat surrounding a membrane of phospholipid and protein which in turn encloses the DNA genome. Upon exposure to the permeant reagent, EAI, 50% of the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) molecules reacted rapidly (half-life <10 min). A similar fraction of the PE also reacted with IAI, the impermeant reagent. The remaining half of the PE molecules reacted slowly with EAI (half-life of 80 min) and failed to react with IAI. All of the phage proteins reacted with both EAI and IAI (except a DNA-associated protein which reacted only with EAI). These labeling results indicate that the phage membrane consists of a lipid bilayer and that at least a portion of each phage protein (except the DNA-associated protein) is exposed on the external face of the lipid bilayer. Several of the membrane proteins could be cross-linked either to the phage membrane PE after EAI treatment or to phage phosphatidylglycerol after periodate treatment. The major structural protein of the phage was readily cross-linked to PG but failed to cross-link to PE suggesting that the protein specifically interacts with PG.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 1985|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology