Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 21082116
Phys Chem Chem Phys 2011 Jan;13(3):1222-9
Hfq is a bacterial protein involved in RNA metabolism. Besides this, Hfq’s role in DNA restructuring has also been suggested. Since this mechanism remains unclear, we examined the DNA conformation upon Hfq binding by combining vibrational spectroscopy and neutron scattering. Our analysis reveals that Hfq, which preferentially interacts with deoxyadenosine rich sequences, induces partial opening of dA-dT sequences accompanied by sugar repuckering of the dA strand and hence results in a heteronomous A/B duplex. Sugar repuckering is probably correlated with a global dehydration of the complex. By taking into account Hfq’s preferential binding to A-tracts, which are commonly found in promoters, potential biological implications of Hfq binding to DNA are discussed.