Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Gail Christie


The bacterial ribosome is essential to cell growth yet little is known about how its proteins attain their mature structures. Recent studies indicate that certain Staphlyococcus aureus bacteriophage protein sequences contain specific sites that may be cleaved by a non-bacteriophage enzyme (Poliakov et al. 2008). The phage cleavage site was found to bear sequence similarity to the N-terminus of S. aureus ribosomal protein L27. Previous studies in E. coli (Wower et al.1998; Maguire et al. 2005) found that L27 is situated adjacent to the ribosomal peptidyl transferase site, where it likely aids in new peptide formation. The predicted S. aureus L27 protein contains an additional N-terminal sequence not observed within the N-terminus of the otherwise similar E. coli L27; this sequence appears to be cleaved, indicating yet-unobserved ribosomal protein post-translational processing and use of host processes by phage. Phylogenetic analysis shows that L27 processing has the potential to be highly conserved. Further study of this phenomenon may aid antibiotic development.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012