A Study of the Binding Reaction of Helix Destabilizing Protein of E Coli to DNA
McQuiston, James H.
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The double helical structure of DNA is the most stable conformation under physiological conditions. However, during replication, recombination and repair, the complementary strands of DNA must be at least partially separated and maintained in a single stranded conformation. In order to have single-stranded regions of DNA one must have complete strand separation. The separation of strands involves the "melting" of base pairs and the simultaneous unwinding of the two strands. Only recently has the mechanism of strand separation been studied and since chain elongation at the replication fork is not sufficient in maintaining strand separation, another mechanism must maintain separation. Because helix destabilizing proteins (HDP) are defined as proteins that bind tightly and preferentially to singlestranded DNA, they appear to be involved in many aspects of DNA function and metabolism by serving to stabilize and protect singlestranded sequences. Because of their importance within an organism, the present investigation was initiated to study the binding reaction and parameters which effect it using electrophoric measurements.