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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The lysis function of RNA bacteriophage Qbeta is mediated by the maturation (A2) protein.

Complete or partial cDNA sequences of the RNA bacteriophage Qbeta were cloned in plasmids under the control of the lambdaP(L) promoter to allow regulated expression in Escherichia coli harbouring the gene for the temperature-sensitive lambdaCI857 repressor. Induction of the complete Qbeta sequence leads to a 100-fold increase in phage production, accompanied by cell lysis. Induction of the 5'-terminal sequence containing the intact maturation protein (A2) cistron also causes cell lysis. Alterations of the A2 cistron, leading to proteins either devoid of approximately 20% of the C-terminal region or of six internal amino acids, abolish the lysis function. Expression of other cistrons in addition to the A2 cistron does not enhance host lysis. Thus, in Qbeta, the A2 protein, in addition to its functions as maturation protein, appears to trigger cell lysis. This contrasts with the situation in the distantly related group I RNA phages such as f2 and MS2 where a small lysis polypeptide is coded for by a region overlapping the end of the coat gene and the beginning of the replicase gene.[1]


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