LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bacteriophage portal proteins. Molecular model showing the structure of a complex of bacteriophage P22 portal protein (lower right) bound to middle tail factor GP4 (upper left). Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, with their genetic material injected into the host cell through protein complexes such as this. The GP4 tail ring is the smaller one, with the portal ring being larger. This structure (not completely shown, for the full structure see C014/7689) inserts deeply into the virion and similar to a rifle barrel increases the accuracy of ejection of genetic material into the host cell. The P22 bacteriophage infects enterobacteria.
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