Dynamics of double stranded DNA reptation from bacteriophage

Irene S. Gabashvili, Alexander Yu Grosberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The dynamics of dsDNA release process from a phage head has been analyzed theoretically. The process was considered as dsDNA reptation through the phage tail. The driving force is assumed to be the decrease of the DNA globule free energy on its releasing from the head in the surrounding medium. The results of the equilibrium theory on an intraphage DNA globule were applied. Three possible sources of friction were examined. The first one is in the inner channel of the tail. The second is the friction of DNA segments in the whole globule volume, which is essential when the globule decondensation is a collective process, at simultaneous moving of all the turns (mechanism 1). The third is the globule friction with the capsid inner surface, that is most important when decondensation proceeds via the globule rotation as a whole spool (mechanism 2). Mechanism 1 would require a lot of time for ejec-tion. Mechanism 2 would lead to different ejection dynamics of short- and long-tailed phages. Comparison of the theoretical results with the published experimental data argues in favor of mechanism 2.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)911-920
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Apr 1992

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Structural Biology
    • Molecular Biology


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