LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bacteriophage connector protein. Molecular model showing the structure of a bacteriophage head-tail connector protein. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, and consist of a 'head' section (that contains the genetic material) and a 'tail' section, joined by proteins such as this. This one is from the bacteriophage phi29, which infects Bacillus bacteria. It has 12 subunits forming a circle around the central pore through which the bacteriophage's genetic material (DNA) passes. The protein acts as a rotary motor to package the DNA into immature viral capsids (proheads).
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