Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
DNA-histone interaction facilitates packaging of huge amounts of DNA in the confined space of the nucleus. The importance of this interaction underscores the need for new analytical techniques to acquire a better understanding of nuclear dynamics. Electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry made it possible to investigate non-covalently-bound biopolymers. We are enlarging the scope of available analytical tools by studying non-covalent interaction between single and double stranded DNA and peptides with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry. The interaction is an ionic one, between the negatively charged sugar-phosphate backbone of single stranded DNA and positively charged side chains of Arg- and Lys-rich peptides as demonstrated by Vertes' group1 with the dipeptides Arg-Lys and His-His. We replicated Lecchi and Pannell's work,2 which showed that double stranded DNA could be seen by MALDI using 6-aza-2-thiothymine (ATT) as matrix. We tried various peptides and found that as was demonstrated in DNA-histone interaction, a certain ratio and arrangement of basic residues was needed in order to generate ionic binding between DNA and peptide. We tested various single and double stranded DNA with the peptide of choice, and found that other variables such as pH value of solution, ionic strength, and matrix system did play a role. Proteins Suppl. 2:12-21, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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