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Proceedings Paper

Protein-mediated DNA looping in a fluctuating micromechanical environment
Author(s): J. N. Milstein; Yih-Fan Chen; Jens-Christian Meiners
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Paper Abstract

Forces on the order of a hundred femtonewtons can drastically prevent the formation of protein-mediated DNA loops, which are a common regulatory component of cellular function and control. To investigate how such an acutely sensitive mechanism might operate within a noisy environment, as might typically be experienced within a cell, we have studied the response of DNA loop formation under an optically induced, fluctuating, mechanical tension. We show that mechanical noise strongly enhances the rate of loop formation. Moreover, the sensitivity of the loop formation rate to mechanical fluctuations is relatively independent of the baseline tension. This suggests that tension along the DNA molecule could act as a robust means of regulating transcription in a noisy in vivo environment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 August 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7762, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VII, 77620B (27 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.860048
Show Author Affiliations
J. N. Milstein, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor (United States)
Yih-Fan Chen, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor (United States)
Jens-Christian Meiners, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7762:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VII
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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