Gabija Ziedaite

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The translocation of genetic material from the viral capsid to the cell is an essential part of the viral infection process. Whether the energetics of this process is driven by the energy stored within the confined nucleic acid or cellular processes pull the genome into the cell has been the subject of discussion. However, in vitro studies of genome(More)
Single molecule force clamp experiments are widely used to investigate how enzymes, molecular motors, and other molecular mechanisms work. We developed a dual-trap optical tweezers instrument with real-time (200 kHz update rate) force clamp control that can exert 0-100 pN forces on trapped beads. A model for force clamp experiments in the dumbbell-geometry(More)
PRD1 is a bacteriophage with an icosahedral outer protein layer surrounding the viral membrane, which encloses the linear double-stranded DNA genome. PRD1 infects gram-negative cells harboring a conjugative IncP plasmid. Here we studied the lytic functions of PRD1. Using infected cells and plasmid-borne lysis genes, we demonstrated that a two-component(More)
The assembly of bacteriophage PRD1 proceeds via formation of empty procapsids containing an internal lipid membrane, into which the linear double-stranded DNA genome is subsequently packaged. The packaging ATPase P9 and other putative packaging proteins have been shown to be located at a unique vertex of the PRD1 capsid. Here, we describe the isolation and(More)
Icosahedral-tailed double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) bacteriophages and herpesviruses translocate viral DNA into a preformed procapsid in an ATP-driven reaction by a packaging complex that operates at a portal vertex. A similar packaging system operates in the tailless dsDNA phage PRD1 (Tectiviridae family), except that there is an internal membrane vesicle in(More)
The simplified artificial environments in which highly complex biological systems are studied do not represent the crowded, dense, salty, and dynamic environment inside the living cell. Consequently, it is important to investigate the effect of crowding agents on DNA. We used a dual-trap optical tweezers instrument to perform force spectroscopy experiments(More)
Genome packaging of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) phages has been widely studied using biochemical and molecular biology methods. We adapted the existing in vitro packaging system of one such phage for single-molecule experimentation. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to study the details of viral RNA packaging using optical tweezers. Pseudomonas(More)
The archaeal virus His1 isolated from a hypersaline environment infects an extremely halophilic archaeon Haloarcula hispanica. His1 features a lemon-shaped capsid, which is so far found only in archaeal viruses. This unique capsid can withstand high salt concentrations, and can transform into a helical tube, which in turn is resistant to extremely harsh(More)
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