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Commensurability between protein nanotubes in contractile ejection nanomachines

Abstract

Contractile ejection nanomachines being the sheath-tube assemblies create an opening in the cell membrane to translocate molecules or ions across it. Here, on the most structurally investigated examples of the bacteriophage T4 tail and pyocin R2, we show that the rearrangement of the sheath structure resulting in its contraction and twist occurs in such a way that the contracted sheath becomes commensurate with the inner tube. This fact dictates the earlier unknown simple geometrical relation between the nanotube symmetries. Using the Frank and van der Merwe classical theory of commensurability, we study an interaction between two protein nanotubes forming such-type nanomachines and obtain an expression for the corresponding energy, which depends on the tube structures and their mutual arrangement. Appearance of commensurability between the contracted sheath and the inner tube decreases both the interaction energy and the total one of the system. It improves the nanomachine efficiency, since the energy gain obtained increases the torque of the inner tube piercing the cell membrane.

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Sep 2017, accepted on 03 Dec 2017 and first published on 04 Dec 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06940E
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Commensurability between protein nanotubes in contractile ejection nanomachines

    S. B. Rochal, D. S. Roshal, A. E. Myasnikova and V. Lorman, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06940E

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