Structure of the coat protein in Pf1 bacteriophage determined by solid-state NMR spectroscopy

J Mol Biol. 2004 Aug 13;341(3):869-79. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2004.06.038.


The atomic resolution structure of Pf1 coat protein determined by solid-state NMR spectroscopy of magnetically aligned filamentous bacteriophage particles in solution is compared to the structures previously determined by X-ray fiber and neutron diffraction, the structure of its membrane-bound form, and the structure of fd coat protein. These structural comparisons provide insights into several biological properties, differences between class I and class II filamentous bacteriophages, and the assembly process. The six N-terminal amino acid residues adopt an unusual "double hook" conformation on the outside of the bacteriophage particle. The solid-state NMR results indicate that at 30 degrees C, some of the coat protein subunits assume a single, fully structured conformation, and some have a few mobile residues that provide a break between two helical segments, in agreement with structural models from X-ray fiber and neutron diffraction, respectively. The atomic resolution structure determined by solid-state NMR for residues 7-14 and 18-46, which excludes the N-terminal double hook and the break between the helical segments, but encompasses more than 80% of the backbone including the distinct kink at residue 29, agrees with that determined by X-ray fiber diffraction with an RMSD value of 2.0 A. The symmetry and distance constraints determined by X-ray fiber and neutron diffraction enable the construction of an accurate model of the bacteriophage particle from the coordinates of the coat protein monomers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage Pf1 / metabolism*
  • Bacteriophages / metabolism
  • Capsid Proteins / chemistry*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Neutrons
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Software
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Temperature
  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • X-Rays


  • Capsid Proteins
  • coat protein, Pseudomonas phage Pf1

Associated data

  • PDB/1PJF