Reverse transcriptase-mediated tropism switching in Bordetella bacteriophage

Minghsun Liu, Rajendar Deora, Sergei R Doulatov, Mari Gingery, Frederick A Eiserling, Andrew Preston, Duncan J Maskell, Robert W Simons, Peggy A Cotter, Julian Parkhill, Jeff F Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Citations (SciVal)


Host-pathogen interactions are often driven by mechanisms that promote genetic variability. We have identified a group of temperate bacteriophages that generate diversity in a gene, designated mtd (major tropism determinant), which specifies tropism for receptor molecules on host Bordetella species. Tropism switching is the result of a template-dependent, reverse transcriptase-mediated process that introduces nucleotide substitutions at defined locations within mtd. This cassette-based mechanism is capable of providing a vast repertoire of potential ligand-receptor interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2091-2094
Number of pages4
Issue number5562
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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