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Mol Gen Genet. 1989 Oct;219(1-2):69-74.

Methylation strongly enhances DNA bending in the replication origin region of the Escherichia coli chromosome.

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Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Japan.


Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, at high and low temperatures, and gel mobilities of circularly permuted DNA segments showed a large bending locus about 50 bp downstream from the right border of the 245 bp oriC box, a minimal essential region of autonomous replication on the Escherichia coli chromosome. Bending was strongly enhanced by Dam methylation. In DNA from a Dam- strain, the mobility anomaly arising from altered conformation was much reduced, but was raised to the original level by methylation in vivo or in vitro. Enhancement of the mobility anomaly was also observed by hybrid formation of the Dam- strand with the Dam+ strand. Near the bending center, GATC, the target of Dam methylase, occurs seven times arranged essentially on the same face of the helix with 10.5 bp per turn. We concluded that small bends at each Dam site added up to the large bending detectable by gel electrophoresis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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