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J Mol Biol. 1984 Nov 25;180(1):179-200.

Thermodynamics of the ColE1 cruciform. Comparisons between probing and topological experiments using single topoisomers.

Abstract

The sensitivity of the ColE1 cruciform to four enzyme and chemical probes of secondary structure has been studied as a function of plasmid topology. Purified topoisomers of pColIR515 have been probed with S1 nuclease, Bal31 nuclease, phage T4 endonuclease VII or osmium tetroxide, and site-specific reaction quantified. Closely similar profiles of reactivity as a function of linking difference were obtained for each probe. Electrophoresis of the pure topoisomers on polyacrylamide/agarose gels revealed a discontinuity in migration as a function of linking difference. Above a threshold linking difference, topoisomers exhibit pronounced reduction in mobility. The linking difference at which this band shift is found correlates precisely with that required for site-specific reaction with the four probes. We conclude that both probing and topological methods are valuable in the study of cruciform structure in supercoiled DNA. The band shift has been measured with accuracy to allow the calculation of the twist change that accompanies the transition, corresponding to delta Tw = -3.2 +/- 0.1. Using this value together with the critical linking difference we calculate a free energy of formation for this structure delta G = 18.4 +/- 0.5 kcal mol-1 (1 kcal = 4.184 kJ).

PMID:
6096558
DOI:
10.1016/0022-2836(84)90436-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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