Specific binding of a bacteriophage at a hydrocarbon-water interface

O. Pines, D. Gutnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Emulsan, the extracellular polyanionic emulsifying agent produced by Acinetobacter calcoaceticus RAG-1, has been implicated as a receptor for a --- ---- -- specific virulent RAG-1 bacteriophage, ap3. Aqueous solutions of emulsan did not interfere with phage ap3 adsorption to RAG-1 cells. However, binding of phage ap3 occurred at the interfaces of hexadecane-in-water emulsions specifically stabilized by emulsan polymers. Binding of ap3 to emulsions was inhibited either in the presence of anti-emulsan antibodies or in the presence of a specific emulsan depolymerase. Moreover, when the phage was first bound to emulsan-stabilized emulsions and the emulsions subsequently treated with emulsan depolymerase, viable phage was released, indicating that phage ap3 DNA ejection was not triggered by binding. The results indicate that emulsan functions as the ap3 receptor and suggest that to function as a receptor, emulsan assumes a specific conformation conferred on it by its specific interaction with hydrophobic surfaces.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


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