|Abstract or Summary
- In order to better characterize linker histone interactions with DNA, avian erythrocyte-specific linker H5 and the trypsin-resistant globular domain of H5 (GH5) were used in DNA binding studies. To begin, H5 displayed a considerably higher binding
affinity for DNA than the isolated globular domain (GH5), supporting the importance of the terminal tail domains in binding. This conclusion is based upon binding curves conducted in low-salt solution, and on the considerably-higher salt concentration required
to prevent protein-DNA contact. Linker histones also induce DNA-protein aggregation in a process that was found to result in protein insolubility in 2% SDS, and included protein-protein interactions that did not require the terminal tail domains. In addition, DNA supercoiling appeared to impede the aggregation process; this that may be attributable to binding of linker histones in isolated clusters, as gauged by a limit in the number of observed dithiobis (succinimidyl) propionate (DSP)-crosslinkable contacts. In a related study, the property of GH5 to bind, then organize onto DNA was investigated. GH5 crosslinked onto DNA with dithiobis (succinimidyl propionate), then cleaved with chymotrypsin, displayed highly uniform contacts that appeared to involve the C-terminal four amino acids, and suggests protein-protein interactions are important for binding. This finding may be relevant since GH5 (and H5) were observed to self-associate free in solution in an arguably specific manner. Finally, the exposure of Phe 93 to chymotrypsin was used to identify the surface of the globular domain that contacts DNA for the binding
of intact H5. Results suggests that the side of the protein opposite to the recognition helix preferentially binds to DNA, supporting a novel winged-helix protein DNA-binding mechanism.
Furthermore, parallel studies with octamers reconstituted onto a DNA fragment with twelve copies of the 208 b.p. rDNA 5s gene from Lytechinus variegatus, shows that H5 had a high binding affinity with all detectable protein binding to the reconstituted complex. H5 binding conferred protection to a site located near the dyad axis from endonuclease digestion, supporting the contention that H5 binds near or at the nucleosome dyad axis. H5 binding also was observed to condense fibers as observed from agarose gel electrophoresis, although velocity analytical sedimentation studies indicate that H5 in itself was not sufficient to fully compact chromatin fibers; rather H5 and 30 mM NaCl, in combination, were required. Results indicate that the chromatin-reconstituted "208-12 DNA" makes an excellent model for analyzing the effect of linker proteins on chromatin morphology.