J. D’Souza, J. Dharmadhikari, A. Dharmadhikari
Dec 25, 2006
Atomic force microscopy imaging has been used to study the changes associated with human Rad52 (HsRad52) protein in solution, in dried state as well as following ssDNA (linear and circular) binding. In the dried state, the free protein exists predominantly as a characteristic panoply of novel trifoliate forms. However, in solution, the level of trifoliates diminishes significantly. Height analyses of either form reveal two categories: smaller (~ 3-5 nm) and larger ((~ 10-12 nm) particles, perhaps related to sub-heptameric and heptameric forms respectively. Interestingly, binding of the protein to linear ssDNA smoothly extends and unfolds the naked DNA. Contour length measurements performed on several individual circular ssDNA/nucleoprotein complexes reveal marked (about threefold) extension of naked ssDNA, following HsRad52 binding. We speculate that the alignment of HsRad52 on ssDNA into a smoothly extended and unfolded strand from that of highly compact morphology of naked ssDNA, may have bearing on the recombination function of HsRad52 protein.