Assessing Protein Dynamics on Low-Complexity Single-Stranded DNA Curtains.

Jeffrey M. Schaub, Hongshan Zhang, Michael M. Soniat, Ilya J. Finkelstein, Langmuir (2018).
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Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) is a critical intermediate in all DNA transactions. As ssDNA is more flexible than double-stranded (ds)DNA, interactions with ssDNA-binding proteins (SSBs) may significantly compact or elongate the ssDNA molecule. Here, we develop and characterize low-complexity ssDNA curtains, a high-throughput single-molecule assay to simultaneously monitor protein binding and correlated ssDNA length changes on supported lipid bilayers. Low-complexity ssDNA is generated via rolling circle replication of short synthetic oligonucleotides, permitting control over the sequence composition and secondary structure- forming propensity. One end of the ssDNA is functionalized with a biotin, while the second is fluorescently labeled to track the overall DNA length. Arrays of ssDNA molecules are organized at microfabricated barriers for high-throughput single-molecule imaging. Using this assay, we demonstrate that E. coli SSB drastically and reversibly compacts ssDNA templates upon changes in NaCl concentration. We also examine the interactions between a phosphomimetic RPA and ssDNA. Our results indicate that RPA- ssDNA interactions are not significantly altered by these modifications. We anticipate low-complexity ssDNA curtains will be broadly useful for single-molecule studies of ssDNA-binding proteins involved in DNA replication, transcription and repair.