Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.534, 1059-1063, 2021
Salt concentration modulates the DNA target search strategy of NdeI
DNA target search is a key step in cellular transactions that access genomic information. How DNA binding proteins combine 3D diffusion, sliding and hopping into an overall search strategy remains poorly understood. Here we report the use of a single molecule DNA tethering method to characterize the target search kinetics of the type II restriction endonuclease NdeI. The measured search rate depends strongly on DNA length as well as salt concentration. Using roadblocks, we show that there are significant changes in the DNA sliding length over the salt concentrations in our study. To explain our results, we propose a model including cycles of 3D and 1D search in which salt concentration modulates the strategy by varying the length of DNA probed per 1D scan. At low salt NdeI makes a single non-specific encounter with DNA followed by an effective and complete 1D scan. At higher salt, NdeI must execute multiple cycles of target search due to the reduced efficacy of 1D search. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.