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DNA binding of Klenow polymerase has been characterized with respect to temperature to delineate the thermodynamic driving forces involved in the interaction of this polymerase with primed-template DNA. The temperature dependence of the binding affinity exhibits distinct curvature, with tightest binding at 25-30°C. Nonlinear temperature dependence indicates Klenow binds different primed-template constructs with large heat capacity (ΔCp) values (-870 to -1220 cal/mole K) and thus exhibits large temperature dependent changes in enthalpy and entropy. Binding is entropy driven at lower temperatures and enthalpy driven at physiological temperatures. Large negative ΔCp values have been proposed to be a 'signature' of site-specific DNA binding, but type I DNA polymerases do not exhibit significant DNA sequence specificity. We suggest that the binding of Klenow to a specific DNA structure, the primed-template junction, results in a correlated thermodynamic profile that mirrors what is commonly seen for DNA sequence-specific binding proteins. Klenow joins a small number of other DNA-sequence independent DNA binding proteins which exhibit unexpectedly large negative ΔCp values. Spectroscopic measurements show small conformational rearrangements of both the DNA and Klenow upon binding, and small angle x-ray scattering shows a global induced fit conformational compaction of the protein upon binding. Calculations from both crystal structure and solution structural data indicate that Klenow DNA binding is an exception to the often observed correlation between ΔCp and changes in accessible surface area. In the case of Klenow, surface area burial can account for only about half of the ΔCp of binding. © 2006 by the Biophysical Society.

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Biophysical Journal

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