Stepwise bending of DNA by a single TATA box binding protein

Simon F Tolic-Nørrelykke, Mette B Rasmussen, Francesco S Pavone, Kirstine Berg-Sørensen, Lene B. Oddershede

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The TATA-box binding protein (TBP) is required by all three eucaryotic RNA polymerases for the initiation of transcription from most promoters. TBP recognizes, binds to, and bends promoter sequences called "TATA-boxes" in the DNA. We present results from the study of individual Saccharomyces cerevisiae TBPs interacting with single DNA molecules containing a TATA-box. Using video microscopy, we observed the Brownian motion of the beads tethered by short surface-bound DNA. When TBP binds to and bends the DNA, the conformation of the DNA changes and the amplitude of Brownian motion of the tehtered bead is reduced compared to that of unbent DNA. We detected individual binding and dissocation events and derived kinetic parameters for the process. Dissociation was induced by increasing the salt concentration or by directly pulling on the tethered bead using optical tweezers. In addition to the well-defined free and bound classes of Brownian motion, we observed another two classes of motion. These extra classes were identified with intermediate states of a three-step, linear binding pathway. Biological implications of the intermediate states are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiophysical Journal
Pages (from-to)3694-3703
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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