Konstantin M. Virnik

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Molecular mechanisms of bacterial chromosome packaging are still unclear, as bacteria lack nucleosomes or other apparent basic elements of DNA compaction. Among the factors facilitating DNA condensation may be a propensity of the DNA molecule for folding due to its intrinsic curvature. As suggested previously, the sequence correlations in genome reflect(More)
Different isolates of HIV-1 are known to vary in antibody binding and sensitivity to neutralization. In response to selective pressure, the virus may conceal important neutralizing determinants, such as the CD4 binding site on gp120, through steric hindrance or conformational masking. The 3D structure of gp120 shows five loop structures that surround the(More)
The Gal repressosome is a higher-order nucleoprotein complex that represses transcription of the gal operon in Escherichia coli. During the repressosome assembly, a DNA loop is formed by the interaction of two GalR dimers, bound to two spatially separated operators, OE and OI, flanking the gal promoters. Structure-based genetic analysis indicated that GalR(More)
The hydration energetics of natural DNA with various AT/GC-composition and model double-helix polyribonucleotides was studied using a new approach which is based on calorimetric measurements of the dehydration energy of nucleic acid-water systems at various levels of relative humidity. A linear correlation between the dehydration energy and the nucleotide(More)
It is unclear how DNA is packaged in a bacterial cell in the absence of nucleosomes. To investigate the initial level of DNA condensation in bacterial nucleoid we used in vivo DNA digestion coupled with high-throughput sequencing of the digestion-resistant fragments. To this end, we transformed E. coli cells with a plasmid expressing micrococcal nuclease.(More)
DNA looping is often involved in positive and negative regulation of gene transcription in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The transcription of the gal operon of Escherichia coli from two overlapping promoters P1 and P2 is negatively regulated via Gal repressosome assembly. It involves binding of two dimeric Gal repressor proteins (GalR) to two operators,(More)
Infection with HIV or SIV often elicits a potent immune response to viral antigens. This includes T cells and antibodies specific for Gag and Env antigens. In contrast, when given as a vaccine, the same antigens have been weak immunogens, unable to elicit antibodies with comparable titer, durability, or neutralizing activity. We have used the live(More)
Live-attenuated rubella vaccine strain RA27/3 has been demonstrated to be safe and immunogenic in millions of children. The vaccine strain was used to insert SIV gag sequences and the resulting rubella vectors were tested in rhesus macaques alone and together with SIV gag DNA in different vaccine prime-boost combinations. We previously reported that such(More)
The gal operon of Escherichia coli is negatively regulated by the Gal repressosome, a higher order nucleoprotein complex containing a DNA loop that encompasses two gal promoters. In the repressosome structure, Gal repressor (GalR) dimers are bound to the two operator sites, flanking the promoter region, thus generating a DNA loop. The DNA loop is stabilized(More)
Nucleoprotein complexes comprising short DNA loops (150 base pairs or less) are involved in a wide variety of DNA transactions (e.g. transcription regulation, replication and recombination) in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and also can be useful in designing nanostructures. In these higher-order nucleoprotein complexes, proteins bound to spatially(More)