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Cell. 1986 Mar 14;44(5):681-7.

Cooperative binding of lambda repressors to sites separated by integral turns of the DNA helix.


Lambda repressors bind cooperatively to adjacent pairs of operator sites. Here we show that repressors bind cooperatively to pairs of operator sites whose centers have been separated by five or six turns of the helix. No cooperativity is observed when the centers of these sites are on opposite sides of the DNA helix. Cooperativity depends upon the same part of the protein (the carboxyl domain) that mediates cooperativity when the sites are adjacent. As the repressors bind, the DNA between the sites becomes alternately sensitive and resistant to DNAase I cleavage at half turn intervals. We suggest that when repressors bind cooperatively to separated sites, the DNA forms a loop, thus allowing the two repressors to touch.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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