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Non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) is the primary pathway for repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in mammalian cells. Such breaks are formed, for example, during gene-segment rearrangements in the adaptive immune system or by cancer therapeutic agents. Although the core components of the NHEJ machinery are known, it has remained difficult to assess the(More)
Complexity and heterogeneity are common denominators of the many molecular events taking place inside the cell. Single-molecule techniques are important tools to quantify the actions of biomolecules. Heterogeneous interactions between multiple proteins, however, are difficult to study with these technologies. One solution is to integrate optical trapping(More)
During recombinational repair of double-stranded DNA breaks, RAD51 recombinase assembles as a nucleoprotein filament around single-stranded DNA to form a catalytically proficient structure able to promote homology recognition and strand exchange. Mediators and accessory factors guide the action and control the dynamics of RAD51 filaments. Elucidation of(More)
Essential genomic transactions such as DNA-damage repair and DNA replication take place on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) or require specific single-stranded/double-stranded DNA (ssDNA/dsDNA) junctions (SDSJ). A significant challenge in single-molecule studies of DNA-protein interactions using optical trapping is the design and generation of appropriate DNA(More)
All organisms need homologous recombination (HR) to repair DNA double-strand breaks. Defects in recombination are linked to genetic instability and to elevated risks in developing cancers. The central catalyst of HR is a nucleoprotein filament, consisting of recombinase proteins (human RAD51 or bacterial RecA) bound around single-stranded DNA. Over the last(More)
In a previous paper (Syrjänen et al., 2014), we reported the first structural characterisation of a synaptonemal complex (SC) protein, SYCP3, which led us to propose a model for its role in chromosome compaction during meiosis. As a component of the SC lateral element, SYCP3 has a critical role in defining the specific chromosome architecture required for(More)
The mechanical properties of eukaryotic cells are to a great extent determined by the cytoskeleton, a composite network of different filamentous proteins. Among these, intermediate filaments (IFs) are exceptional in their molecular architecture and mechanical properties. Here we directly record stress-strain curves of individual vimentin IFs using optical(More)
Human RAD52 promotes annealing of complementary single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). In-depth knowledge of RAD52-DNA interaction is required to understand how its activity is integrated in DNA repair processes. Here, we visualize individual fluorescent RAD52 complexes interacting with single DNA molecules. The interaction with ssDNA is rapid, static, and tight,(More)
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