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Mechanism of DNA organization by Mycobacterium tuberculosis protein Lsr2.

Nucleic acids research (2013-04-13)
Yuanyuan Qu, Ci Ji Lim, Yixun R Whang, Jun Liu, Jie Yan
ABSTRACT

Bacterial nucleoid-associated proteins, such as H-NS-like proteins in Enterobacteriaceae, are abundant DNA-binding proteins that function in chromosomal DNA organization and gene transcription regulation. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lsr2 protein has been proposed to be the first identified H-NS analogue in Gram-positive bacteria based on its capability to complement numerous in vivo functions of H-NS. Here, we report that Lsr2 cooperatively binds to DNA forming a rigid Lsr2 nucleoprotein complex that restricts DNA accessibility, similar to H-NS. On large DNA, the rigid Lsr2 nucleoprotein complexes can mediate DNA condensation into highly compact DNA conformations. In addition, the responses of Lsr2 nucleoprotein complex to environmental factors (salt concentration, temperature and pH) were studied over physiological ranges. These results provide mechanistic insights into how Lsr2 may mediate its gene silencing, genomic DNA protection and organization functions in vivo. Finally, our results strongly support that Lsr2 is an H-NS-like protein in Gram-positive bacteria from a structural perspective.

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