Studies on the mode of Ku interaction with DNA

Daniele Arosio, Sheng Cui, Claudia Ortega, Miroslav Chovanec, Stefania Di Marco, Giancarlo Baldini, Arturo Falaschi, Alessandro Vindigni

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The Ku heterodimer plays a central role in non-homologous end-joining. The binding of recombinant Ku to DNA has been investigated by dynamic light scattering, double-filter binding, fluorescence spectroscopy, and band shift assays. The hydrodynamic radius of Ku in solution is 5.2 nm and does not change when a 25-bp double-strand DNA (dsDNA) fragment (D25) is added, indicating that only one Ku molecule binds to a 25-bp fragment. The dissociation constant (kd) for the binding to D25 is 3.8 ± 0.9 nM. If both ends of the substrate are closed with hairpin loops, Ku is still able to bind with little change in the kd. The kd is not affected by ATP, Mg2+, or ionic strength. However, the addition of bovine serum albumin decreases the kd by 2-fold. DNA substrates of 50 bp can bind two Ku molecules, whereas three molecules are bound to a 75-bp substrate. Data analysis with the Hill equation yields a value of the Hill coefficient (n) close to 1, and the kd values for the binding of Ku to both ends of these substrates are the same. Thus, we demonstrate that there is no cooperative interaction among the Ku heterodimers binding longer substrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9741-9748
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 22 2002


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