The main focus of this thesis is a better understanding of the basic compaction mechanism of our DNA using multiple single-molecule techniques. The stretched-out length of our DNA is enormous compared with the dimensions of a cell. To make DNA fit within a cell it is systematically wrapped around proteins (histone octamers), forming nucleosomes. Besides compacting, nucleosomes also decrease the necessary accessibility of DNA for important processes like transcription and replication. The dynamical interplay between DNA and proteins ensures the right balance between compact and accessible DNA, but is not yet fully understood. Therefore, we study the process of nucleosome assembly as well as the dynamics of nucleosomes at the single-molecule level. Furthermore, we investigate proteins that probe the conformation of the DNA helical structure.
|Publication status||Published - 6-Jun-2014|
- single molecule
- magnetic tweezers
- plectoneme dynamics