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Searching target sites on DNA by proteins: Role of DNA dynamics under confinement.


ABSTRACT: DNA-binding proteins (DBPs) rapidly search and specifically bind to their target sites on genomic DNA in order to trigger many cellular regulatory processes. It has been suggested that the facilitation of search dynamics is achieved by combining 3D diffusion with one-dimensional sliding and hopping dynamics of interacting proteins. Although, recent studies have advanced the knowledge of molecular determinants that affect one-dimensional search efficiency, the role of DNA molecule is poorly understood. In this study, by using coarse-grained simulations, we propose that dynamics of DNA molecule and its degree of confinement due to cellular crowding concertedly regulate its groove geometry and modulate the inter-communication with DBPs. Under weak confinement, DNA dynamics promotes many short, rotation-decoupled sliding events interspersed by hopping dynamics. While this results in faster 1D diffusion, associated probability of missing targets by jumping over them increases. In contrast, strong confinement favours rotation-coupled sliding to locate targets but lacks structural flexibility to achieve desired specificity. By testing under physiological crowding, our study provides a plausible mechanism on how DNA molecule may help in maintaining an optimal balance between fast hopping and rotation-coupled sliding dynamics, to locate target sites rapidly and form specific complexes precisely.

SUBMITTER: Mondal A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4627088 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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