Caister Academic Press

Transfer of DNA From Phage to Host

Lucienne Letellier, Laure Plançon, and Pascale Boulanger
from: Bacteriophage: Genetics and Molecular Biology (Edited by: Stephen Mc Grath and Douwe van Sinderen). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2007)


Phage DNA transport is atypical among membrane transport and thus poses a fascinating problem: transport is unidirectional; it concerns a unique molecule the size of which may represent 50 times that of the bacterium. The rate of DNA transport can reach values as high as 3 to 4 thousands base pairs / sec. This raises many questions, which will be addressed in this chapter. Is there a single mechanism of transport for all types of phages? How does the phage genome overcome the hydrophobic barrier of the host envelope? Is DNA transported as a free molecule or in association with proteins? Is such transport dependent on phage and / or host cell components? What is the driving force for transport? Data will be presented for a few selected tailed phages for which DNA transport has been most extensively studied read more ...
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