• Leviviridae;
  • allolevivirus;
  • small RNA phages;
  • bacteriophage Qβ;
  • minor coat protein;
  • read-through protein;
  • polyproline helix


Bacteriophage Qβ is a small RNA virus that infects Escherichia coli. The virus particle contains a few copies of the minor coat protein A1, a C-terminally prolonged version of the coat protein, which is formed when ribosomes occasionally read-through the leaky stop codon of the coat protein. The crystal structure of the read-through domain from bacteriophage Qβ A1 protein was determined at a resolution of 1.8 Å. The domain consists of a heavily deformed five-stranded β-barrel on one side of the protein and a β-hairpin and a three-stranded β-sheet on the other. Several short helices and well-ordered loops are also present throughout the protein. The N-terminal part of the read-through domain contains a prominent polyproline type II helix. The overall fold of the domain is not similar to any published structure in the Protein Data Bank.