Archives of Virology

, Volume 163, Issue 6, pp 1623–1633 | Cite as

A genetic analysis of an important hydrophobic interaction at the P22 tailspike protein N-terminal domain

  • Jeremie Williams
  • Karthikeya Venkatesan
  • Joseph Atia Ayariga
  • Doba Jackson
  • Hongzhuan Wu
  • Robert Villafane
Original Article


P22 bacteriophage has been studied extensively and has served as a model for many important processes such as in vivo protein folding, protein aggregation and protein-protein interactions. The trimeric tailspike protein (TSP) serves as the receptor-binding protein for the P22 bacteriophage to the bacterial host. The homotrimeric P22 tail consists of three chains of 666aa in which the first 108aa form a trimeric dome-like structure which is called the N-terminal domain (NTD) and is responsible for attachment of the tailspike protein to the rest of the phage particle structure in the phage assembly pathway. Knowledge of this interaction requires information on what amino acids are interacting in the interface and how the NTD structure is maintained. The first 23aa form the “stem peptide” which originates at the dome top and terminates at the dome bottom. It contains a hydrophobic valine patch (V8-V9-V10) located within the dome structure. It is hypothesized that the interaction between the hydrophobic valine patch located on stem peptide and the adjacent polypeptide is critical for the interchain interaction which should be important for the stability of the P22 TSP NTD itself. To test this hypothesis, each amino acid in the valine residues is substituted by an acid, a basic, and a hydrophobic amino acid. The results of such substitutions are presented as well as associated studies. The data strongly suggest that the valine patch is of critical importance in the hydrophobic interaction between stem peptide valine patch and an adjacent chain.



These studies were supported by the Deanships of the College of Science, Mathematics and Technology at the Alabama State University and by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Huntingdon College. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for insightful comments.


This work was funded in part by Deanship of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (C-STEM) from Alabama State University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in MicrobiologyAlabama State UniversityMontgomeryUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryHuntingdon CollegeMontgomeryUSA

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