Sequential model of phage PRD1 DNA delivery: active involvement of the viral membrane

Mol Microbiol. 2002 Dec;46(5):1199-209. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2002.03250.x.


DNA translocation across the barriers of recipient cells is not well understood. Viral DNA delivery mechanisms offer an opportunity to obtain useful information in systems in which the process can be arrested to a number of stages. PRD1 is an icosahedral double-stranded (ds)DNA bacterial virus with an internal membrane. It is an atypical dsDNA phage, as any of the vertex spikes can be used for receptor recognition. In this report, we dissect the PRD1 DNA entry into a number of steps: (i) outer membrane (OM) penetration; (ii) peptidoglycan digestion; (iii) cytoplasmic membrane (CM) penetration; and (iv) DNA translocation. We present a model for PRD1 DNA entry proposing that the initial stage of entry is powered by the pressure build-up during DNA packaging. The viral protein P11 is shown to function as the first DNA delivery protein needed to penetrate the OM. We also report a DNA translocation machinery composed of at least three viral integral membrane proteins, P14, P18 and P32.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage PRD1 / pathogenicity*
  • Bacteriophage PRD1 / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / virology*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mutation
  • Permeability
  • Viral Structural Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Structural Proteins / metabolism*


  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Structural Proteins