Crystallogenesis of bacteriophage P22 tail accessory factor gp26 at acidic and neutral pH

Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 2006 May 1;62(Pt 5):477-82. doi: 10.1107/S1744309106013856. Epub 2006 Apr 28.


Gp26 is one of three phage P22-encoded tail accessory factors essential for stabilization of viral DNA within the mature capsid. In solution, gp26 exists as an extended triple-stranded coiled-coil protein which shares profound structural similarities with class I viral membrane-fusion protein. In the cryo-EM reconstruction of P22 tail extracted from mature virions, gp26 forms an approximately 220 angstroms extended needle structure emanating from the neck of the tail, which is likely to be brought into contact with the cell's outer membrane when the viral DNA-injection process is initiated. To shed light on the potential role of gp26 in cell-wall penetration and DNA injection, gp26 has been crystallized at acidic, neutral and alkaline pH. Crystals of native gp26 grown at pH 4.6 diffract X-rays to 2.0 angstroms resolution and belong to space group P2(1), with a dimer of trimeric gp26 molecules in the asymmetric unit. To study potential pH-induced conformational changes in the gp26 structure, a chimera of gp26 fused to maltose-binding protein (MBP-gp26) was generated. Hexagonal crystals of MBP-gp26 were obtained at neutral and alkaline pH using the high-throughput crystallization robot at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA. These crystals diffract X-rays to beyond 2.0 angstroms resolution. Structural analysis of gp26 crystallized at acidic, neutral and alkaline pH is in progress.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage P22 / chemistry*
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry
  • Crystallization
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Maltose-Binding Proteins
  • Viral Tail Proteins / chemistry*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Maltose-Binding Proteins
  • Viral Tail Proteins