Functional analysis of a class I holin, P2 Y. Academic Article uri icon


  • Y is the putative holin gene of the paradigm coliphage P2 and encodes a 93-amino-acid protein. Y is predicted to be an integral membrane protein that adopts an N-out C-in membrane topology with 3 transmembrane domains (TMDs) and a highly charged C-terminal cytoplasmic tail. The same features are observed in the canonical class I lambda holin, the S105 protein of phage lambda, which controls lysis by forming holes in the plasma membrane at a programmed time. S105 has been the subject of intensive genetic, cellular, and biochemical analyses. Although Y is not related to S105 in its primary structure, its characterization might prove useful in discerning the essential traits for holin function. Here, we used physiological and genetic approaches to show that Y exhibits the essential holin functional criteria, namely, allele-specific delayed-onset lethality and sensitivity to the energization of the membrane. Taken together, these results suggest that class I holins share a set of unusual features that are needed for their remarkable ability to program the end of the phage infection cycle with precise timing. However, Y holin function requires the integrity of its short cytoplasmic C-terminal domain, unlike for S105. Finally, instead of encoding a second translational product of Y as an antiholin, as shown for lambda S107, the P2 lysis cassette encodes another predicted membrane protein, LysA, which is shown here to have a Y-specific antiholin character.

published proceedings

  • J Bacteriol

author list (cited authors)

  • To, K. H., Dewey, J., Weaver, J., Park, T., & Young, R. y.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • To, Kam H||Dewey, Jill||Weaver, Jeremy||Park, Taehyun||Young, Ry

publication date

  • March 2013