Packaging of duplex DNA within the icosahedral phage head has long been of interest as the prokaryotic equivalent of chromosome condensation. More recently, it has received attention because of its usefulness in vitro in recomÂ binant DNA work. This DNA condensation results from a complex and highly evolved biological process whose mechanisms depart in numerous ways from 0066-4227/89/100 1 -0267$02.00 BLACK simple self-assembly. dsDNA phages displaying broadly similar overall packaging mechanisms and packaged DNA structure include }o.., T4, P22, T7 and T3 , c!>29, P2, T l , Mu, PI, and others that have been less intensively studied. Recent work has emphasized five related but distinct areas: (a) the mechÂ anism and energetics of DNA translocation into the prohead precursor; (b) the higher order structure(s) of the condensed DNA within the capsid; (c) the mechanism of DNA end formation by concatemer cutting at cohesive end sites (cos) or packaging sites (pac) and by headful cutting, and control in vivo of concatemer cutting and packaging; (d) the relationship of DNA packaging to global DNA metabolism and structure in infected bacteria; and (e) use of in vitro packaging systems in recombinant DNA constructions and cloning work. Accordingly, these interests are
Annual Review of Microbiology – Annual Reviews
Published: Oct 1, 1989
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