Ultrastable pRNA hexameric ring gearing hexameric phi29 DNA-packaging motor by revolving without rotating and coiling

ArticleinCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology 24(4) · May 2013with8 Reads
Impact Factor: 7.12 · DOI: 10.1016/j.copbio.2013.03.019 · Source: PubMed


    Biomotors have previously been classified into two categories: linear and rotational motors. It has long been popularly believed that viral DNA packaging motors are rotation motors. We have recently found that the DNA-packaging motor of bacteriophage phi29 uses a third mechanism: revolution without rotation. phi29 motor consists of three-coaxial rings of hexameric RNA, a hexameric ATPase, and a dodecameric channel. The motor uses six ATP to revolve one helical turn of dsDNA around the hexameric ring of ATPase gp16. Each dodecameric segment tilts at a 30°-angle and runs anti-parallel to the dsDNA helix to facilitate translation in one direction. The negatively charged phosphate backbone interacts with four positively charged lysine rings, resulting in four steps of transition. This review will discuss how the novel pRNA meets motor requirements for translocation concerning structure, stoichiometry, and thermostability; how pRNA studies have led to the generation of the concept of RNA nanotechnology; and how pRNA is fabricated into nanoparticles to deliver siRNA, miRNA, and ribozymes to cancer and virus-infected cells.