Protein-Induced DNA Bending

  • A. A. Travers
Part of the Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology book series (NUCLEIC, volume 2)


The tight bending of DNA is a ubiquitous feature, both of chromosomal structure and also of nucleoprotein complexes involved in the enzymatic manipulation of DNA. In these structures the DNA follows a defined three-dimensional path — or configuration. However, the DNA double helix does not behave as an isotropic rod. Instead, the structural and mechanical properties of DNA vary in a sequence-dependent manner resulting in a molecule which is flexurally anisotropic (Calladine and Drew 1986). Thus, the sequence of the DNA molecule determines its preferred configuration, and hence its ability to wrap around a protein core. This ability to assume a particular configuration we term bendability which is thus a property which reflects the conformational rigidity or flexibility of individual short sequences contained within a longer defined sequence.


Minor Groove Groove Width Sequence Preference Sequence Periodicity Intrinsic Curvature 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Travers
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Laboratory of Molecular BiologyCambridgeUK

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