Joseph J. Loparo

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The parABS system is a widely employed mechanism for plasmid partitioning and chromosome segregation in bacteria. ParB binds to parS sites on plasmids and chromosomes and associates with broad regions of adjacent DNA, a phenomenon known as spreading. Although essential for ParB function, the mechanism of spreading remains poorly understood. Using(More)
Ligands stimulate Notch receptors by inducing regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) to produce a transcriptional effector. Notch activation requires unmasking of a metalloprotease cleavage site remote from the site of ligand binding, raising the question of how proteolytic sensitivity is achieved. Here, we show that application of physiologically(More)
The ParABS system mediates chromosome segregation and plasmid partitioning in many bacteria. As part of the partitioning mechanism, ParB proteins form a nucleoprotein complex at parS sites. The biophysical basis underlying ParB-DNA complex formation and localization remains elusive. Specifically, it is unclear whether ParB spreads in 1D along DNA or(More)
We present a simple technique for visualizing replication of individual DNA molecules in real time. By attaching a rolling-circle substrate to a TIRF microscope-mounted flow chamber, we are able to monitor the progression of single-DNA synthesis events and accurately measure rates and processivities of single T7 and Escherichia coli replisomes as they(More)
A complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the functioning of large, multiprotein complexes requires experimental tools capable of simultaneously visualizing molecular architecture and enzymatic activity in real time. We developed a novel single-molecule assay that combines the flow-stretching of individual DNA molecules to measure the(More)
Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) plays an important role in eukaryotic genomic maintenance by topologically binding DNA and recruiting replication and repair proteins. The ring-shaped protein forms a closed circle around double-stranded DNA and is able to move along the DNA in a random walk. The molecular nature of this diffusion process is poorly(More)
Translesion synthesis (TLS) by Y-family DNA polymerases alleviates replication stalling at DNA damage. Ring-shaped processivity clamps play a critical but ill-defined role in mediating exchange between Y-family and replicative polymerases during TLS. By reconstituting TLS at the single-molecule level, we show that the Escherichia coli β clamp can(More)
In all organisms, the protein machinery responsible for the replication of DNA, the replisome, is faced with a directionality problem. The antiparallel nature of duplex DNA permits the leading-strand polymerase to advance in a continuous fashion, but forces the lagging-strand polymerase to synthesize in the opposite direction. By extending RNA primers, the(More)
SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes) family members play essential roles in chromosome condensation, sister chromatid cohesion and DNA repair. It remains unclear how SMCs structure chromosomes and how their mechanochemical cycle regulates their interactions with DNA. Here we used single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to visualize how Bacillus(More)
We investigated rearrangements of the hydrogen-bond network in water by measuring fluctuations in the OH-stretching frequency of HOD in liquid D2O with femtosecond infrared spectroscopy. Using simulations of an atomistic model of water, we relate these frequency fluctuations to intermolecular dynamics. The model reveals that OH frequency shifts arise from(More)