2020 journal article
DNA looping by two 5-methylcytosine-binding proteins quantified using nanofluidic devices
EPIGENETICS & CHROMATIN, 13(1).
Abstract Background MeCP2 and MBD2 are members of a family of proteins that possess a domain that selectively binds 5-methylcytosine in a CpG context. Members of the family interact with other proteins to modulate DNA packing. Stretching of DNA–protein complexes in nanofluidic channels with a cross-section of a few persistence lengths allows us to probe the degree of compaction by proteins. Results We demonstrate DNA compaction by MeCP2 while MBD2 does not affect DNA configuration. By using atomic force microscopy (AFM), we determined that the mechanism for compaction by MeCP2 is the formation of bridges between distant DNA stretches and the formation of loops. Conclusions Despite sharing a similar specific DNA-binding domain, the impact of full-length 5-methylcytosine-binding proteins can vary drastically between strong compaction of DNA and no discernable large-scale impact of protein binding. We demonstrate that ATTO 565-labeled MBD2 is a good candidate as a staining agent for epigenetic mapping.