DNA bending by a phantom protein

Juliane K. Strauss, Thazha P. Prakash, Christopher Roberts, Christopher Switzer, L James Maher III

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Despite its stiffness, duplex DNA is extensively bent and folded during packaging and gene expression in biological systems. Modulation of the electrostatic repulsion between phosphates in the DNA backbone may be important in the bending of DNA by proteins. Here, we analyze the shape of DNA molecules that have been modified chemically to mimic the electrostatic consequences of a bound protein. Results: We have simulated salt bridges between DNA phosphates and cationic amino acid sidechains of a phantom protein by tethering ammonium cations to one face of the DNA helix. Tethered ammonium cations, but not neutral acetylated controls, induce DNA to bend toward its neutralized surface. Conclusions: The shape of DNA molecules bearing a laterally-asymmetric distribution of tethered cations agrees qualitatively with theoretical predictions and with results previously obtained using neutral phosphate analogs. These data suggest principles that might be applied to the design of artificial DNA-bending proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-678
Number of pages108
JournalChemistry and Biology
Volume3
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1996

Fingerprint

DNA
Proteins
Cations
Phosphates
Static Electricity
Ammonium Compounds
Electrostatics
Bearings (structural)
Molecules
Product Packaging
Biological systems
Gene expression
Packaging
Salts
Stiffness
Modulation
Gene Expression
Amino Acids

Keywords

  • DNA bending
  • electrostatics
  • phosphate neutralization tethered cations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this

Strauss, J. K., Prakash, T. P., Roberts, C., Switzer, C., & Maher III, L. J. (1996). DNA bending by a phantom protein. Chemistry and Biology, 3(8), 571-678.

DNA bending by a phantom protein. / Strauss, Juliane K.; Prakash, Thazha P.; Roberts, Christopher; Switzer, Christopher; Maher III, L James.

In: Chemistry and Biology, Vol. 3, No. 8, 08.1996, p. 571-678.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Strauss, JK, Prakash, TP, Roberts, C, Switzer, C & Maher III, LJ 1996, 'DNA bending by a phantom protein', Chemistry and Biology, vol. 3, no. 8, pp. 571-678.
Strauss JK, Prakash TP, Roberts C, Switzer C, Maher III LJ. DNA bending by a phantom protein. Chemistry and Biology. 1996 Aug;3(8):571-678.
Strauss, Juliane K. ; Prakash, Thazha P. ; Roberts, Christopher ; Switzer, Christopher ; Maher III, L James. / DNA bending by a phantom protein. In: Chemistry and Biology. 1996 ; Vol. 3, No. 8. pp. 571-678.
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