Making the Bend: DNA Tertiary Structure and Protein-DNA Interactions
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2014, doi:10.3390/ijms150712335, 15(7), 12335-12363 published on 14.07.2014
DNA structure functions as an overlapping code to the DNA sequence. Rapid progress in understanding the role of DNA structure in gene regulation, DNA damage recognition and genome stability has been made. The three dimensional structure of both proteins and DNA plays a crucial role for their specific interaction, and proteins can recognise the chemical signature of DNA sequence (“base readout”) as well as the intrinsic DNA structure (“shape recognition”). These recognition mechanisms do not exist in isolation but, depending on the individual interaction partners, are combined to various extents. Driving force for the interaction between protein and DNA remain the unique thermodynamics of each individual DNA-protein pair. In this review we focus on the structures and conformations adopted by DNA, both influenced by and influencing the specific interaction with the corresponding protein binding partner, as well as their underlying thermodynamics.