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Probing the kinetic landscape of Hox transcription factor-DNA binding in live cells by massively parallel Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy.

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Papadopoulos,  Dimitrios
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Tomancak,  Pavel
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Papadopoulos, D., Krmpot, A. J., Nikolić, S. N., Krautz, R., Terenius, L., Tomancak, P., et al. (2015). Probing the kinetic landscape of Hox transcription factor-DNA binding in live cells by massively parallel Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy. Mechanisms of Development, 138(2), 218-225.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-0491-6
Abstract
Hox genes encode transcription factors that control the formation of body structures, segment-specifically along the anterior-posterior axis of metazoans. Hox transcription factors bind nuclear DNA pervasively and regulate a plethora of target genes, deploying various molecular mechanisms that depend on the developmental and cellular context. To analyze quantitatively the dynamics of their DNA-binding behavior we have used confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), single-point fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (FCCS) and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC). We show that the Hox transcription factor Sex combs reduced (Scr) forms dimers that strongly associate with its specific fork head binding site (fkh250) in live salivary gland cell nuclei. In contrast, dimers of a constitutively inactive, phospho-mimicking variant of Scr show weak, non-specific DNA-binding. Our studies reveal that nuclear dynamics of Scr is complex, exhibiting a changing landscape of interactions that is difficult to characterize by probing one point at a time. Therefore, we also provide mechanistic evidence using massively parallel FCS (mpFCS). We found that Scr dimers are predominantly formed on the DNA and are equally abundant at the chromosomes and an introduced multimeric fkh250 binding-site, indicating different mobilities, presumably reflecting transient binding with different affinities on the DNA. Our proof-of-principle results emphasize the advantages of mpFCS for quantitative characterization of fast dynamic processes in live cells.