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Assembly mechanism is the key determinant of the dosage sensitivity of a phage structural protein

By Lia Cardarelli, Karen L. Maxwell and Alan R. Davidson

Abstract

Altering the expression level of proteins that are subunits of complexes has been proposed to be particularly detrimental because the resulting stoichiometric imbalance among components would lead to misassembly of the complex. Here we show that assembly of the phage HK97 connector complex is severely inhibited by the overexpression of one of its component proteins, gp6. However, this effect is a result of the unusual mechanism by which the oligomerization and assembly of gp6 are controlled. Alteration of this mechanism by single amino acid substitutions leads to a reversal of the response to gp6 overexpression. Surprisingly, the binding partner of gp6 within the phage particle is expressed at a 500-fold higher concentration despite their identical stoichiometry within the complex. Our data emphasize that a generalized prediction of the effects of changes in the expression level of protein complex subunits is very difficult because these effects are dependent upon assembly mechanism

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3121854
Provided by: PubMed Central
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