Internal DNA pressure modifies stability of WT phage

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Abstract

dsDNA in bacteriophages is highly stressed and exerts internal pressures of many atmospheres (1 atm = 101.3 kPa) on the capsid walls. We investigate the correlation between packaged DNA length in A phage (78-100% of WT DNA) and capsid strength by using an atomic force microscope indentation technique. We show that phages with WT DNA are twice as strong as shorter genome mutants, which behave like empty capsids, regardless of high internal pressure. Our analytical model of DNA-filled capsid deformation shows that, because of DNA-hydrating water molecules, an osmotic pressure exists inside capsids that increases exponentially when the packaged DNA density is close to WT phage. This osmotic pressure raises the WT capsid strength and is approximately equal to the maximum breaking force of empty shells. This result suggests that the strength of the shells limits the maximal packaged genome length. Moreover, it implies an evolutionary optimization of WT phages allowing them to survive greater external mechanical stresses in nature.

Detaljer

Författare
Enheter & grupper
Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Biologiska vetenskaper

Nyckelord

Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)9603-9608
TidskriftProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volym104
Utgivningsnummer23
StatusPublished - 2007
PublikationskategoriForskning
Peer review utfördJa