Ribonucleoprotein complexes of R17 coat protein and a translational operator analog

Dorothy Beckett*, Olke C. Uhlenbeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The coat protein of the simple spherical (triangulation no. T = 3) RNA coliphage R17 protects the genomic RNA in the virus particle and acts as a translational repressor of the phage-encoded replicase gene. It has been suggested that these two functions are related and that the translational repression complex serves as a nucleation complex for subsequent assembly of the bacteriophage. We have used a translational operation fragment to examine the relationship between formation of the translational repression complex and the assembly of the protein into T = 3 capsids. In vitro analysis of the aggregation properties of R17 coat protein reveals that binding of the translational operator fragment to the protein dimer triggers polymerization of the protein into T = 3 capsids of well-defined composition. The data further implicate the translational operator in nucleation of assembly and suggest a possible physical-chemical basis of the nucleation step.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-938
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 20 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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