What is DNA breathing (fraying)?

Does DNA breathing play a role in protein assembly?

  • In PNAS, Phelps et al. introduce to us a unique single-molecule approach to study DNA breathing dynamics and investigate the role of DNA breathing in protein assembly on DNA ( 9 ). DNA “breathing” (or “fraying”) refers to spontaneous local conformational fluctuations within double-stranded DNA (dsDNA).

Are breathing fluctuations in dsDNA readable?

  • Thus many of the breathing fluctuations of dsDNA are likely also to be sequence dependent, and could well contain information that should be "readable" and useable by regulatory proteins and protein complexes in site-specific binding reactions involving dsDNA "opening."

How does temperature affect the stability of dsDNA?

  • Therefore the DNA genome must also manifest thermally driven structural ("breathing") fluctuations at physiological temperatures that should reflect the heterogeneity of the dsDNA stability near the melting temperature.

image-What is DNA breathing (fraying)?
image-What is DNA breathing (fraying)?
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