Similarities and differences within members of the Ff family of filamentous bacteriophage viruses

Omry Morag, Gili Abramov, Amir Goldbourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The filamentous bacteriophage viruses of the Ff family, fd and M13, slightly differ in their genome, and their 50-residue-long major capsid proteins have a single site difference: the uncharged asparagine-12 in M13 is replaced with a negatively charged aspartate in fd. We have used magic-angle spinning solid-state NMR spectroscopy to site-specifically assign the resonances belonging to the capsid protein of M13. Assignment of several mobile residues was facilitated by using J-based spectroscopy, which in addition provided sugar-base contacts in the M13-DNA stemming from two-bond scalar couplings. A comparison between M13 and fd bacteriophages reveals that the two virions have a very conserved and stable structure, manifested in negligibly small chemical shift differences and similar dynamic properties for nearly all resonances. The principal difference between the two phages involves residues in the vicinity of residue 12. We suggest that the elimination of the single charge at position 12 throughout the entire assembly affects the electrostatic and hydrogen-bonding interaction network governing inter- and intraresidue contacts, mainly by the rearrangement of the positively charged lysine residue at position 8.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15370-15379
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number51
StatePublished - 29 Dec 2011


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