|Title||Compaction of isolated Escherichia coli nucleoids : Polymer and H-NS protein synergetics|
|Author(s)||Wegner, Anna S.; Wintraecken, Kathelijne; Spurio, Roberto; Woldringh, Conrad L.; Vries, Renko de; Odijk, Theo|
|Source||Journal of Structural Biology 194 (2016)1. - ISSN 1047-8477 - p. 129 - 137.|
Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Dynamic light scattering - EMSA - Escherichia coli - H-NS protein - Nucleoid - Polyethylene glycol - Polymer physics - Supercoiling|
Escherichia coli nucleoids were compacted by the inert polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG) in the presence of the H-NS protein. The protein by itself appears to have little impact on the size of the nucleoids as determined by fluorescent microscopy. However, it has a significant impact on the nucleoidal collapse by PEG. This is quantitatively explained by assuming the H-NS protein enhances the effective diameter of the DNA helix leading to an increase in the depletion forces induced by the PEG. Ultimately, however, the free energy of the nucleoid itself turns out to be independent of the H-NS concentration. This is because the enhancement of the supercoil excluded volume is negligible. The experiments on the nucleoids are corroborated by dynamic light scattering and EMSA analyses performed on DNA plasmids in the presence of PEG and H-NS.