Different interactions of cro repressor dimer with the left and right halves of O(R)3 operator DNA

James D. Baleja, Wayne F. Anderson, Brian D. Sykes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


λ Cro repressor protein is titrated with two half-operator DNA duplexes comprising the right and left halves of the major binding site on phage λ DNA, the O(R)3 operator. The comparison of binding strengths and the conformation of Cro repressor in the two protein-DNA complexes shows that base pair differences between the two halves of the O(R)3 operator affect the binding of Cro repressor protein. Some 1H NMR resonances are assigned for both protein and DNA in the Cro-operator DNA complexes which are then used to highlight differences between Cro right half and Cro left half protein-operator DNA interactions. These differences are compared to the asymmetry found in the λ C(I) repressor-operator DNA complex. Mechanisms for the recognition of the Cro transcriptional regulatory protein have considered only interactions between a single Cro monomer and a consensus half-operator site with the assumption that the interactions in the remaining half-site are related by the 2-fold symmetry of the complex. A revised model is suggested that allows asymmetry in the two halves of the protein-DNA complex. Methods are proposed to avoid problems in the general use of 1H NMR spectroscopy to study protein-DNA interaction such as intermediate exchange behavior and sample aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22115-22124
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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