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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Mar; 83(6): 1608–1612.
PMCID: PMC323132

On the specificity of DNA-protein interactions.


In this paper we summarize the various factors that must be considered in establishing the operational specificity of the binding of a protein regulator of gene expression to a DNA target site. We consider informational (combinatorial) aspects of binding-site specification, actual recognition mechanisms, and the thermodynamics of target-site selection against a background of competing pseudospecific and non-(sequence)-specific DNA binding sites. The results provide insight into the design, specification, and possibly the evolution of regulatory proteins and their chromosomal binding targets, as well as into practical aspects of the design of regulatory-protein isolation schemes and physicochemical regulatory considerations in vivo.

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Selected References

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