Preliminary crystallographic studies of bacteriophage T4 fibritin confirm a trimeric coiled-coil structure
Strelkov, Sergei × Tao, Y Rossmann, M G Kurochkina, L P Shneider, M M Mesyanzhinov, V V #
Virology vol:219 issue:1 pages:190-4
Fibritin, a 52-kDa product of gene wac of bacteriophage T4, forms fibrous "whiskers" that connect to the phage tail and facilitate the later stages of phage assembly. Preliminary experiments suggest that fibritin is a trimer, and its predominant central part has a parallel alpha-helical coiled-coil structure. To investigate the oligomerization and function of fibritin, we have designed and studied two related deletion mutants, denoted M and E, that consist of its last 75 and 120 amino acids, respectively. Both proteins contain part of the coiled-coil region and the 29 amino acid carboxy-terminal domain essential for the trimerization of fibritin. The proteins are expressed as a soluble product in an Escherichia coli system. We have obtained crystals of fibritins M and E. Complete native X-ray diffraction data sets have been collected to 1.85 and 2.7 A resolution, respectively. The crystals have space group P3 with a=44.3 A, c=91.3 A (fibritin M) and R32 with a=41.2 A, b=358.7 A (fibritin E) in the hexagonal setting. Symmetry and packing considerations show that fibritin is a triple coiled coil.