- The methyl-CpG–binding domain 2 and 3 proteins (MBD2 and MBD3) provide structural and DNA-binding function for the Nucleosome Remodeling and Deacetylase (NuRD) complex. The two proteins form distinct NuRD complexes and show different binding affinity and selectivity for methylated DNA. Previous studies have shown that MBD2 binds with high affinity and selectivity for a single methylated CpG dinucleotide while MBD3 does not. However, the NuRD complex functions in regions of the genome that contain many CpG dinucleotides (CpG islands).
- TIN2 is a core component of the shelterin complex linking double-stranded telomeric DNA-binding proteins (TRF1 and TRF2) and single-strand overhang-binding proteins (TPP1-POT1). In vivo, the large majority of TRF1 and TRF2 exist in complexes containing TIN2 but lacking TPP1/POT1; however, the role of TRF1-TIN2 interactions in mediating interactions with telomeric DNA is unclear. Here, we investigated DNA molecular structures promoted by TRF1-TIN2 interaction using atomic force microscopy (AFM), total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM), and the DNA tightrope assay.
- Proper chromosome alignment and segregation during mitosis depend on cohesion between sister chromatids, mediated by the cohesin protein complex, which also plays crucial roles in diverse genome maintenance pathways. Current models attribute DNA binding by cohesin to entrapment of dsDNA by the cohesin ring subunits (SMC1, SMC3, and RAD21 in humans). However, the biophysical properties and activities of the fourth core cohesin subunit SA2 (STAG2) are largely unknown. Here, using single-molecule atomic force and fluorescence microscopy imaging as well as fluorescence anisotropy measurements, we established that SA2 binds to both dsDNA and ssDNA, albeit with a higher binding affinity for ssDNA.
- Single-molecule photobleaching has emerged as a powerful non-invasive approach to extract the stoichiometry of multimeric membrane proteins in their native cellular environment. However, this method has mainly been used to determine the subunit composition of ion channels and receptors at the plasma membrane. Here, we applied single-molecule photobleaching to analyze the oligomeric state of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident candidate ceramide sensor protein, SMSr/SAMD8. Co-immunoprecipitation and chemical cross-linking studies previously revealed that the N-terminal sterile alpha motif (or SAM) domain of SMSr drives self-assembly of the protein into oligomers and that SMSr oligomerization is promoted by curcumin, a drug known to perturb ER ceramide and calcium homeostasis.