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Cellular origin of the viral capsid-like bacterial microcompartments

Abstract : Bacterial microcompartments (BMC) are proteinaceous organelles that structurally resemble viral capsids, but encapsulate enzymes that perform various specialized biochemical reactions in the cell cytoplasm. The BMC are constructed from two major shell proteins, BMC-H and BMC-P, which form the facets and vertices of the icosahedral assembly, and are functionally equivalent to the major and minor capsid proteins of viruses, respectively. This equivalence notwithstanding, neither of the BMC proteins displays structural similarity to known capsid proteins, rendering the origins of the BMC enigmatic. Here, using structural and sequence comparisons, we show that both BMC-H and BMC-P, most likely, were exapted from bona fide cellular proteins, namely, PII signaling protein and OB-fold domain-containing protein, respectively. This finding is in line with the hypothesis that many major viral structural proteins have been recruited from cellular proteomes.
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Mart Krupovic, Eugene Koonin. Cellular origin of the viral capsid-like bacterial microcompartments. Biology Direct, BioMed Central, 2017, 12, pp.25. ⟨10.1186/s13062-017-0197-y⟩. ⟨pasteur-01977351⟩

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