Author(s): Shultzaberger RK, Roberts LR, Lyakhov IG, Sidorov IA, Stephen AG,
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Abstract Individual protein binding sites on DNA can be measured in bits of information. This information is related to the free energy of binding by the second law of thermodynamics, but binding kinetics appear to be inaccessible from sequence information since the relative contributions of the on- and off-rates to the binding constant, and hence the free energy, are unknown. However, the on-rate could be independent of the sequence since a protein is likely to bind once it is near a site. To test this, we used surface plasmon resonance and electromobility shift assays to determine the kinetics for binding of the Fis protein to a range of naturally occurring binding sites. We observed that the logarithm of the off-rate is indeed proportional to the individual information of the binding sites, as predicted. However, the on-rate is also related to the information, but to a lesser degree. We suggest that the on-rate is mostly determined by DNA bending, which in turn is determined by the sequence information. Finally, we observed a break in the binding curve around zero bits of information. The break is expected from information theory because it represents the coding demarcation between specific and nonspecific binding.
This article was published in Nucleic Acids Res
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology