Two DNA antirestriction systems of bacteriophage P1, darA, and darB: characterization of darA- phages

Virology. 1987 Mar;157(1):156-66. doi: 10.1016/0042-6822(87)90324-2.


Bacteriophage P1 is only weakly restricted when it infects cells carrying type I restriction and modification systems even though DNA purified from P1 phage particles is a good substrate for type I restriction enzymes in vitro. Here we show that this protection against restriction is due to the products of two phage genes which we call darA and darB (dar for defense against restriction). Each of the dar gene products provides protection against a different subset of type I restriction systems. The darA and darB gene products are found in the phage head and protect any DNA packaged into a phage head, including transduced chromosomal markers, from restriction. The proteins must, therefore, be injected into recipient cells along with the DNA. The proteins act strictly in cis. For example, upon double infection of restricting cells with dar+ and dar- P1 phages, the dar+ genomes are protected from restriction while the dar- genomes are efficiently restricted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coliphages / genetics*
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • DNA, Viral / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Genes*
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Species Specificity
  • Viral Proteins / genetics*


  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes