Participation of water in Hin recombinase-DNA recognition

Clifford R. Robinson, Stephen G. Sligar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The participation of water molecules in the interaction between the Hin recombinase and its operator DNA has been detected by analysis of the dissociation constant in the presence of varying concentrations of neutral solutes and cosolvents. The dissociation constant as measured by gel mobility shift assays increased an the concentration of dimethyl sulfoxide, glycerol, sucrose, or polyethylene glycol was increased. Osmotic pressure is the only property that correlates with the change in the dissociation constant for all compounds. This data indicates that binding of a small population of water molecules accompanies formation of the Hin-DNA complex, and points to a novel role for solvent molecules in assisting site specific interaction between DNA-binding proteins and their cognate DNA sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2119-2124
Number of pages6
JournalProtein Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • osmotic pressure
  • protein-DNA interactions
  • solvation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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