DNA and Chromosomes
- Modification of histones provides a dynamic mechanism to regulate chromatin structure and access to DNA. Histone acetylation, in particular, plays a prominent role in controlling the interaction between DNA, histones, and other chromatin-associated proteins. Defects in histone acetylation patterns interfere with normal gene expression and underlie a wide range of human diseases. Here, we utilize Xenopus egg extracts to investigate how changes in histone acetylation influence transcription of a defined gene construct.
- MutS homologs (MSHs) are highly conserved core components of DNA mismatch repair. Mismatch recognition provokes ATP-binding by MSH proteins that drives a conformational transition from a short-lived lesion-searching clamp to an extremely stable sliding clamp on the DNA. Here, we have expanded on previous bulk biochemical studies to examine the stability, lifetime, and kinetics of bacterial and human MSH sliding clamps on mismatched DNA using surface plasmon resonance and single-molecule analysis of fluorescently labeled proteins.