American Chemical Society
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Interactions between DNA and the Hfq Amyloid-like Region Trigger a Viscoelastic Response

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posted on 2020-08-10, 16:07 authored by Omar El Hamoui, Indresh Yadav, Milad Radiom, Frank Wien, Jean-Francois Berret, Johan R. C. van der Maarel, Véronique Arluison
Molecular transport of biomolecules plays a pivotal role in the machinery of life. Yet, this role is poorly understood due the lack of quantitative information. Here, the role and properties of the C-terminal region of Escherichia coli Hfq is reported, involved in controlling the flow of a DNA solution. A combination of experimental methodologies has been used to probe the interaction of Hfq with DNA and to measure the rheological properties of the complex. A physical gel with a temperature reversible elasticity modulus is formed due to the formation of noncovalent cross-links. The mechanical response of the complexes shows that they are inhomogeneous soft solids. Our experiments indicate that the Hfq C-terminal region could contribute to the genome’s mechanical response. The reported viscoelasticity of the DNA-protein complex might have implications for cellular processes involving molecular transport of DNA or segments thereof.