Scientific Results

Lac repressor hinge flexibility and DNA looping: single molecule kinetics by tethered particle motion

Year: 2006

Authors: Vanzi F., Broggio C., Sacconi L., Pavone FS.

Autors Affiliation: LENS—European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy, University of Florence, Italy
Department of Animal Biology and Genetics ‘Leo Pardi’, University of Florence, Italy
Department of Physics, University of Trento, Italy
Department of Physics, University of Florence, Italy

Abstract: The tethered particle motion (TPM) allows the direct detection of activity of a variety of biomolecules at the single molecule level. First pioneered for RNA polymerase, it has recently been applied also to other enzymes. In this work we employ TPM for a systematic investigation of the kinetics of DNA looping by wild-type Lac repressor (wt-LacI) and by hinge mutants Q60G and Q60 + 1. We implement a novel method for TPM data analysis to reliably measure the kinetics of loop formation and disruption and to quantify the effects of the protein hinge flexibility and of DNA loop strain on such kinetics. We demonstrate that the flexibility of the protein hinge has a profound effect on the lifetime of the looped state. Our measurements also show that the DNA bending energy plays a minor role on loop disruption kinetics, while a strong effect is seen on the kinetics of loop formation. These observations substantiate the growing number of theoretical studies aimed at characterizing the effects of DNA flexibility, tension and torsion on the kinetics of protein binding and dissociation, strengthening the idea that these mechanical factors in vivo may play an important role in the modulation of gene expression regulation.


Volume: 34 (12)      Pages from: 3409  to: 3420

KeyWords: DNA looping
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkl393

Citations: 72
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