67 research outputs found

    DNA Confinement drives uncoating of the HIV Virus

    Full text link
    We present a model for the uncoating of the HIV virus driven by forces exerted on the protein shell of HIV generated by DNA confinement

    Mechanisms of Small Molecule-DNA Interactions Probed by Single-molecule Force Spectroscopy

    Get PDF
    There is a wide range of applications for non-covalent DNA binding ligands, and optimization of such interactions requires detailed understanding of the binding mechanisms. One important class of these ligands is that of intercalators, which bind DNA by inserting aromatic moieties between adjacent DNA base pairs. Characterizing the dynamic and equilibrium aspects of DNA-intercalator complex assembly may allow optimization of DNA binding for specific functions. Single-molecule force spectroscopy studies have recently revealed new details about the molecular mechanisms governing DNA intercalation. These studies can provide the binding kinetics and affinity as well as determining the magnitude of the double helix structural deformations during the dynamic assembly of DNA–ligand complexes. These results may in turn guide the rational design of intercalators synthesized for DNA-targeted drugs, optical probes, or integrated biological self-assembly processes. Herein, we survey the progress in experimental methods as well as the corresponding analysis framework for understanding single molecule DNA binding mechanisms. We discuss briefly minor and major groove binding ligands, and then focus on intercalators, which have been probed extensively with these methods. Conventional mono-intercalators and bis-intercalators are discussed, followed by unconventional DNA intercalation. We then consider the prospects for using these methods in optimizing conventional and unconventional DNA-intercalating small molecules

    Kinetics of DNA Force-Induced Melting

    Get PDF

    Strong DNA Deformation Required for Extremely Slow DNA Threading Intercalation by a Binuclear Ruthenium Complex

    Get PDF
    DNA intercalation by threading is expected to yield high affinity and slow dissociation, properties desirable for DNA-targeted therapeutics. To measure these properties, we utilize single molecule DNA stretching to quantify both the binding affinity and the force-dependent threading intercalation kinetics of the binuclear ruthenium complex Δ,Δ-[μ‐bidppz‐(phen)4Ru2]4+ (Δ,Δ-P). We measure the DNA elongation at a range of constant stretching forces using optical tweezers, allowing direct characterization of the intercalation kinetics as well as the amount intercalated at equilibrium. Higher forces exponentially facilitate the intercalative binding, leading to a profound decrease in the binding site size that results in one ligand intercalated at almost every DNA base stack. The zero force Δ,Δ-P intercalation Kd is 44 nM, 25-fold stronger than the analogous mono-nuclear ligand (Δ-P). The force-dependent kinetics analysis reveals a mechanism that requires DNA elongation of 0.33 nm for association, relaxation to an equilibrium elongation of 0.19 nm, and an additional elongation of 0.14 nm from the equilibrium state for dissociation. In cells, a molecule with binding properties similar to Δ,Δ-P may rapidly bind DNA destabilized by enzymes during replication or transcription, but upon enzyme dissociation it is predicted to remain intercalated for several hours, thereby interfering with essential biological processes

    Inference of evolutionary jumps in large phylogenies using Lévy processes

    Get PDF
    Although it is now widely accepted that the rate of phenotypic evolution may not necessarily be constant across large phylogenies, the frequency and phylogenetic position of periods of rapid evolution remain unclear. In his highly influential view of evolution, G. G. Simpson supposed that such evolutionary jumps occur when organisms transition into so-called new adaptive zones, for instance after dispersal into a new geographic area, after rapid climatic changes, or following the appearance of an evolutionary novelty. Only recently, large, accurate and well calibrated phylogenies have become available that allow testing this hypothesis directly, yet inferring evolutionary jumps remains computationally very challenging. Here, we develop a computationally highly efficient algorithm to accurately infer the rate and strength of evolutionary jumps as well as their phylogenetic location. Following previous work we model evolutionary jumps as a compound process, but introduce a novel approach to sample jump configurations that does not require matrix inversions and thus naturally scales to large trees. We then make use of this development to infer evolutionary jumps in Anolis lizards and Loriinii parrots where we find strong signal for such jumps at the basis of clades that transitioned into new adaptive zones, just as postulated by Simpson’s hypothesis

    Deaminase-independent inhibition of HIV-1 reverse transcription by APOBEC3G

    Get PDF
    APOBEC3G (A3G), a host protein that inhibits HIV-1 reverse transcription and replication in the absence of Vif, displays cytidine deaminase and single-stranded (ss) nucleic acid binding activities. HIV-1 nucleocapsid protein (NC) also binds nucleic acids and has a unique property, nucleic acid chaperone activity, which is crucial for efficient reverse transcription. Here we report the interplay between A3G, NC and reverse transcriptase (RT) and the effect of highly purified A3G on individual reactions that occur during reverse transcription. We find that A3G did not affect the kinetics of NC-mediated annealing reactions, nor did it inhibit RNase H cleavage. In sharp contrast, A3G significantly inhibited all RT-catalyzed DNA elongation reactions with or without NC. In the case of (−) strong-stop DNA synthesis, the inhibition was independent of A3G's catalytic activity. Fluorescence anisotropy and single molecule DNA stretching analyses indicated that NC has a higher nucleic acid binding affinity than A3G, but more importantly, displays faster association/disassociation kinetics. RT binds to ssDNA with a much lower affinity than either NC or A3G. These data support a novel mechanism for deaminase-independent inhibition of reverse transcription that is determined by critical differences in the nucleic acid binding properties of A3G, NC and RT

    Single Molecule DNA Stretching Studies of DNA Intercalation

    No full text