Barrier-to-autointegration factor (BAF) condenses DNA by looping

Dunja Skoko, Min Li, Ying Huang, Michiyo Mizuuchi, Mengli Cai, Christina M. Bradley, Paul J. Pease, Botao Xiao, John F. Marko, Robert Craigie, Kiyoshi Mizuuchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Barrier-to-autointegration factor (BAF) is a protein that has been proposed to compact retroviral DNA, making it inaccessible as a target for self-destructive integration into itself (autointegration). BAF also plays an important role in nuclear organization. We studied the mechanism of DNA condensation by BAF using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. We found that BAF compacts DNA by a looping mechanism. Dissociation of BAF from DNA occurs with multiphasic kinetics; an initial fast phase is followed by a much slower dissociation phase. The mechanistic basis of the broad timescale of dissociation is discussed. This behavior mimics the dissociation of BAF from retroviral DNA within preintegration complexes as monitored by functional assays. Thus the DNA binding properties of BAF may alone be sufficient to account for its association with the preintegration complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16610-16615
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number39
StatePublished - Sep 29 2009


  • Autointegration
  • BAF (Banf1)
  • DNA condensation
  • DNA looping
  • Retrovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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