Closing the Loop on Protein-DNA Interactions: Interplay Between Shape and Flexibility in Nucleoprotein Assemblies Having Implications for Biological Regulation

  • Stephen D. Levene
  • Yongli Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the The IMA Volumes in Mathematics and its Applications book series (IMA, volume 150)


The formation of DNA loops by proteins bound at distant sites along a single molecule is an essential mechanistic aspect of many biological processes including gene regulation, DNA replication, and recombination. The biological importance of DNA loop formation is underscored by an abundance of architectural proteins in cells such as HU, IHF, and HMGs, which facilitate looping by bending the intervening DNA between cognate protein-binding sites. We have developed a rigorous theory for DNA loop formation that connects the global mechanical and geometric properties of both DNA and protein, including previously neglected phenomena such as the conformational flexibility of protein domains. The theory is applied to the problem of loop-mediated gene repression in vivo by lac repressor.

Key words

DNA looping wormlike chain J factor gene regulation lac repressor AMS(MOS) subject classifications Primary 92C05 92C40 82D60 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen D. Levene
    • 1
  • Yongli Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and PhysicsUniversity of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA

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