Mechanosensing of DNA bending in a single specific protein-DNA complex
Date of Issue2013
School of Biological Sciences
Many crucial biological processes are regulated by mechanical stimuli. Here, we report new findings that pico-Newton forces can drastically affect the stability of the site-specific DNA binding of a single transcription factor, the E. coli integration host factor (IHF), by stretching a short ~150 nm DNA containing a single IHF binding site. Dynamic binding and unbinding of single IHF were recorded and analyzed for the force-dependent stability of the IHF-DNA complex. Our results demonstrate that the IHF-DNA interaction is fine tuned by force in different salt concentration and temperature over physiological ranges, indicating that, besides other physiological factors, force may play equally important role in transcription regulation. These findings have broad implications with regard to general mechanosensitivity of site-specific DNA bending proteins.
© 2013 The Author(s). This paper was published in Scientific Reports and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of The Author(s). The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep03508]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.