Single-molecule FRET analysis of DNA binding and bending by yeast HMGB protein Nhp6A

Department of Physics, Emory University, 30322 Atlanta, GA and Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, 38105 MN, USA.
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 9.11). 12/2012; 41(2). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks1208
Source: PubMed


High-mobility group B (HMGB) proteins bind duplex DNA without sequence specificity, facilitating the formation of compact nucleoprotein structures by increasing the apparent flexibility of DNA through the introduction of DNA kinks. It has remained unclear whether HMGB binding and DNA kinking are simultaneous and whether the induced kink is rigid (static) or flexible. The detailed molecular mechanism of HMGB-induced DNA 'softening' is explored here by single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer studies of single yeast Nhp6A (yNhp6A) proteins binding to short DNA duplexes. We show that the local effect of yNhp6A protein binding to DNA is consistent with formation of a single static kink that is short lived (lifetimes of a few seconds) under physiological buffer conditions. Within the time resolution of our experiments, this static kink occurs at the instant the protein binds to the DNA, and the DNA straightens at the instant the protein dissociates from the DNA. Our observations support a model in which HMGB proteins soften DNA through random dynamic binding and dissociation, accompanied by DNA kinking and straightening, respectively.

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    • "For example, the High-mobility group B (HMGB) proteins are minor groove binding proteins that bind duplex DNA with low sequence specificity [89], [90]. Yeast Nhp6 is such a HMGB protein that is involved in the positioning of TATA-binding proteins in the proximal promoter and is known to form homotypic multimers that bind up to 11 base pairs [90]–[93]. "
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    ABSTRACT: DNA-binding proteins (DBPs), such as transcription factors, constitute about 10% of the protein-coding genes in eukaryotic genomes and play pivotal roles in the regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression by binding to short stretches of DNA. Despite their number and importance, only for a minor portion of DBPs the binding sequence had been disclosed. Methods that allow the de novo identification of DNA-binding motifs of known DBPs, such as protein binding microarray technology or SELEX, are not yet suited for high-throughput and automation. To close this gap, we report an automatable DNA-protein-interaction (DPI)-ELISA screen of an optimized double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) probe library that allows the high-throughput identification of hexanucleotide DNA-binding motifs. In contrast to other methods, this DPI-ELISA screen can be performed manually or with standard laboratory automation. Furthermore, output evaluation does not require extensive computational analysis to derive a binding consensus. We could show that the DPI-ELISA screen disclosed the full spectrum of binding preferences for a given DBP. As an example, AtWRKY11 was used to demonstrate that the automated DPI-ELISA screen revealed the entire range of in vitro binding preferences. In addition, protein extracts of AtbZIP63 and the DNA-binding domain of AtWRKY33 were analyzed, which led to a refinement of their known DNA-binding consensi. Finally, we performed a DPI-ELISA screen to disclose the DNA-binding consensus of a yet uncharacterized putative DBP, AtTIFY1. A palindromic TGATCA-consensus was uncovered and we could show that the GATC-core is compulsory for AtTIFY1 binding. This specific interaction between AtTIFY1 and its DNA-binding motif was confirmed by in vivo plant one-hybrid assays in protoplasts. Thus, the value and applicability of the DPI-ELISA screen for de novo binding site identification of DBPs, also under automatized conditions, is a promising approach for a deeper understanding of gene regulation in any organism of choice.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e75177. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0075177 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteins that recognize and bind to specific sites on DNA often distort the DNA at these sites. The rates at which these DNA distortions occur are considered to be important in the ability of these proteins to discriminate between specific and nonspecific sites. These rates have proven difficult to measure for most protein-DNA complexes in part because of the difficulty in separating the kinetics of unimolecular conformational rearrangements (DNA bending and kinking) from the kinetics of bimolecular complex association and dissociation. A notable exception is the Integration Host Factor (IHF), a eubacterial architectural protein involved in chromosomal compaction and DNA recombination, which binds with subnanomolar affinity to specific DNA sites and bends them into sharp U-turns. The unimolecular DNA bending kinetics has been resolved using both stopped-flow and laser temperature-jump perturbation. Here we expand our investigation by presenting a global analysis of the ionic strength dependence of specific binding affinity and relaxation kinetics of an IHF-DNA complex. This analysis enables us to obtain each of the underlying elementary rates (DNA bending∕unbending and protein-DNA association∕dissociation), and their ionic strength dependence, even under conditions where the two processes are coupled. Our analysis indicates interesting differences in the ionic strength dependence of the bi- versus unimolecular steps. At moderate [KCl] (100-500 mM), nearly all the ionic strength dependence to the overall equilibrium binding affinity appears in the bimolecular association∕dissociation of an initial, presumably weakly bent, encounter complex, with a slope SKbi ≈ 8 describing the loglog-dependence of the equilibrium constant to form this complex on [KCl]. In contrast, the unimolecular equilibrium constant to form the fully wrapped specific complex from the initial complex is nearly independent of [KCl], with SKuni < 0.5. This result is counterintuitive because there are at least twice as many ionic protein-DNA contacts in the fully wrapped complex than in the weakly bent intermediate. The following picture emerges from this analysis: in the bimolecular step, the observed [KCl]-dependence is consistent with the number of DNA counterions expected to be released when IHF binds nonspecifically to DNA whereas in the unimolecular reorganization step, the weak [KCl]-dependence suggests that two effects cancel one another. On one hand, formation of additional protein-DNA contacts in the fully wrapped complex releases bound counterions into bulk solution, which is entropically favored by decreasing [salt]. On the other hand, formation of the fully wrapped complex also releases tightly bound water molecules, which is osmotically favored by increasing [salt]. More generally, our global analysis strategy is applicable to other protein-DNA complexes, and opens up the possibility of measuring DNA bending rates in complexes where the unimolecular and bimolecular steps are not easily separable.
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    Shock (Augusta, Ga.) 01/2014; 41(4). DOI:10.1097/SHK.0000000000000122 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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