Congratulations to Sasha Weiditch for winning the prize for best talk at the Cell and Systems Biology Research Day May 13, 2016

Sasha Weiditch, Phd Candidate
Monday, May 30, 2016 - 6:40pm

Phages are viruses that infect bacteria and structurally are composed of a head and a flexible tail. The head contains all of the phage genetic information and the tail is involved in attaching the phage to the bacterial host and also provides the pathway for transmission of the phage DNA into the bacteria. Replication of phages requires correct packaging of the head and involves the function of the terminase complex and a metal binding DNA endonuclease, known as gp74, is our phage of interest. Our work aims to elucidate the mechanism by which gp74 participates in phage packaging. To this end, we used NMR spectroscopy to delineate the metal binding residues in gp74. NMR and DNA digestion studies on gp74 mutants are used to determine the relative importance of each metal binding residue.