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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jul 12;277(28):24988-94. Epub 2002 May 7.

The ubiquitous chromatin protein DEK alters the structure of DNA by introducing positive supercoils.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Federal Republic of Germany.

Abstract

We have investigated the molecular mechanism by which the proto-oncogene protein DEK, an abundant chromatin-associated protein, changes the topology of DNA in chromatin in vitro. Band-shift assays and electron microscopy revealed that DEK induces both intra- and intermolecular interactions between DNA molecules. Binding of the DEK protein introduces constrained positive supercoils both into protein-free DNA and into DNA in chromatin. The induced change in topology is reversible after removal of the DEK protein. As shown by sedimentation analysis and electron microscopy, the DEK-induced positive supercoiling causes distinct structural changes of DNA and chromatin. The observed direct effects of DEK on chromatin folding help to understand the function that this major chromatin protein performs in the nucleus.

PMID:
11997399
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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