Probing DNA clamps with single-molecule force spectroscopy

Lin Wang, Xiaojun Xu, Ravindra Kumar, Buddhadev Maiti, C. Tony Liu, Ivaylo Ivanov, Tae Hee Lee, Stephen J. Benkovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Detailed mechanisms of DNA clamps in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems were investigated by probing their mechanics with single-molecule force spectroscopy. Specifically, the mechanical forces required for the Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae clamp opening were measured at the single-molecule level by optical tweezers. Steered molecular dynamics simulations further examined the forces involved in DNA clamp opening from the perspective of the interface binding energies associated with the clamp opening processes. In combination with additional molecular dynamics simulations, we identified the contact networks between the clamp subunits that contribute significantly to the interface stability of the S.cerevisiae and E. coli clamps. These studies provide a vivid picture of the mechanics and energy landscape of clamp opening and reveal how the prokaryotic and eukaryotic clamps function through different mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7804-7814
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Sep 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Probing DNA clamps with single-molecule force spectroscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this