On the stoichiometry of Deinococcus radiodurans Dps-1 binding to duplex DNA

Khoa H. Nguyen, Louisiana State University
Luke T. Smith, Louisiana State University
Lijuan Xiao, Louisiana State University
Gargi Bhattacharyya, Louisiana State University
Anne Grove, Louisiana State University


DNA protection during starvation (Dps) proteins, dodecameric assemblies of four-helix bundle subunits, contribute to protection against reactive oxygen species. Deinococcus radiodurans, which is characterized by resistance to DNA damaging agents, encodes two Dps homologs, of which Dps-1 binds DNA with high affinity. DNA binding requires N-terminal extensions preceding the four-helix bundle core. Composed of six Dps-1 dimers, each capable of DNA binding by N-terminal extensions interacting in consecutive DNA major grooves, dodecameric Dps-1 would be predicted to feature six DNA binding sites. Using electrophoretic mobility shift assays and intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence, we show that dodecameric Dps-1 binds 22-bp DNA with a stoichiometry of 1:6, consistent with the existence of six DNA binding sites. The stoichiometry of Dps-1 binding to 26-bp DNA is 1:4, suggesting that two Dps-1 dodecamers can simultaneously occupy opposite faces of this DNA. Mutagenesis of an arginine (Arg132) on the surface of Dps-1 leads to a reduction in DNA binding. Altogether, our data suggest that duplex DNA lies along the dimer interface, interacting with Arg132 and the N-terminal α-helices, and they extend the hexagonal packing model for Dps-DNA assemblies by specifying the basis for occupancy of available DNA binding sites. Proteins 2011; © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.