How does trp repressor bind to its operator?

Jannette Carey, Dale E.A. Lewis, Teresa A. Lavoie, Jie Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Three explanations have been advanced to account for the unexpected absence of direct hydrogen bonds and presence of a buried water layer in the co-crystalline complex of Escherichia coli trp repressor with DNA. We present results of physical and biochemical measurements that address the testable predictions of each model. We find that the DNA oligomer used for co-crystallization binds to the repressor with high affinity and specificity, and 1:1 stoichiometry, consistent with other evidence that this sequence represents the true operator target for a single represser dimer. A proposed alternative DNA sequence binds weaker and with higher stoichiometry, consistent with a cooperative binding mode. The operator DNA in solution has a B-form helical structure in the presence and absence of repressor. Affinity of repressor for operator is altered under the conditions used for cocrystal growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24509-24513
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - Dec 25 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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