Research describes new techniques to study protein-DNA interactions

Work undertaken at the John Innes Centre describes new Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) protocols to identify and footprint protein-DNA interactions in a cost effective and semi-automated way.

This work, published in Nucleic Acids Research, illustrates the application of these methods by locating specific binding sites for a bacterial transcription factor and accurately defining the protein footprints on the DNA.

These observations were then verified by determining the structure of a representative protein-DNA complex using X-ray crystallography.

These new methods will appeal to those investigating protein-nucleic acid interactions as an alternative to traditional methods, such as electrophoretic mobility shift assays and DNase I footprinting.

The SPR protocols are based on an indirect DNA capture method that has been termed ReDCaT (Re-usable DNA Capture Technique). ReDCaT is now being offered as a service by Inspiralis, a company founded in 1995 by John Innes Centre researchers.

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