Title

Protein-DNA chimeras: synthesis of two-arm chimeras and non-mechanical effects of the DNA spring

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-8-2009

Keywords

Hybridization, enzyme response, enzyme-DNA chimeras

Abstract

DNA molecular springs have recently been used to control the activity of enzymes and ribozymes. In this approach, the mechanical stress exerted by the molecular spring alters the enzyme’s conformation and thus the enzymatic activity. Here we describe a method alternative to our previous one to attach DNA molecular springs to proteins, where two separate DNA ‘arms’ are coupled to the protein and subsequently ligated. We report certain non-mechanical effects associated with the DNA spring observed in some chimeras with specific DNA sequences and the nucleotide binding enzyme guanylate kinase. If a ssDNA ‘arm’ is attached to the protein by one end only, we find that in some cases (depending on the DNA sequence and attachment point on the protein’s surface) the unhybridized DNA arm inhibits the enzyme, while hybridization of the DNA arm leads to an apparent activation of the enzyme. One interpretation is that, in these cases, hybridization of the DNA arm removes it from the vicinity of the active site of the enzyme. We show how mechanical and non-mechanical effects of the DNA spring can be distinguished. This is important if one wants to use the protein–DNA chimeras to quantitatively study the response of the enzyme to mechanical perturbations.

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