Institut de Biologie StructuraleGrenoble / France

New light on bacteriophages, bacteria killers

The vast majority of phages, bacterial viruses, possess a capsid containing the genetic material and a tail that functions in host recognition, cell wall perforation and safe viral DNA transfer from the capsid to the host cytoplasm. But how does the tip of the tail and the capsid communicate? Different teams of the Institute de Biologie Structurale have answered this question by determining the structure of the tail tube by combining cryo electron microscopy and crystallography. This study was published in Nature Communication.

Bacteriophage T5 tail tube structure suggests a trigger mechanism for Siphoviridae DNA ejection. Charles-Adrien Arnaud, Grégory Effantin, Corinne Vivès, Sylvain Engilberge, Maria Bacia, Pascale Boulanger, Eric Girard, Guy Schoehn and Cécile Breyton. Nature Communication doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02049-3