Thijn van der Heijden

Learn More
The mechanics of DNA bending on intermediate length scales (5-100 nm) plays a key role in many cellular processes, and is also important in the fabrication of artificial DNA structures, but previous experimental studies of DNA mechanics have focused on longer length scales than these. We use high-resolution atomic force microscopy on individual DNA(More)
The DNA strand-exchange reactions defining homologous recombination involve transient, nonuniform allosteric interactions between recombinase proteins and their DNA substrates. To study these mechanistic aspects of homologous recombination, we produced functional fluorescent human RAD51 recombinase and visualized recombinase interactions with single DNA(More)
The assembly of RecA onto a torsionally constrained double-stranded DNA molecule was followed in real time using magnetic tweezers. Formation of a RecA-DNA filament on the DNA tether was stalled owing to different physical processes depending on the applied stretching force. For forces up to 3.6 pN, the reaction stalled owing to the formation of positive(More)
Recombinase proteins assembled into helical filaments on DNA are believed to be the catalytic core of homologous recombination. The assembly, disassembly and dynamic rearrangements of this structure must drive the DNA strand exchange reactions of homologous recombination. The sensitivity of eukaryotic recombinase activity to reaction conditions in vitro(More)
Over the past few years, it has become increasingly apparent that double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) plays a far greater role in the life cycle of a cell than previously expected. Numerous proteins, including helicases, polymerases, and nucleases interact specifically with the double helix of dsRNA. To understand the detailed nature of these dsRNA-protein(More)
The human DNA repair protein RAD51 is the crucial component of helical nucleoprotein filaments that drive homologous recombination. The molecular mechanistic details of how this structure facilitates the requisite DNA strand rearrangements are not known but must involve dynamic interactions between RAD51 and DNA. Here, we report the real-time kinetics of(More)
RecA, the key protein in homologous recombination, performs its actions as a helical filament on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). ATP hydrolysis makes the RecA-ssDNA filament dynamic and is essential for successful recombination. RecA has been studied extensively by single-molecule techniques on double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Here we directly probe the structure(More)
Recognition of 'foreign' DNA by Type I restriction-modification (R-M) enzymes elicits an ATP-dependent switch from methylase to endonuclease activity, which involves DNA translocation by the restriction subunit HsdR. Type I R-M enzymes are composed of three (Hsd) subunits with a stoichiometry of HsdR2:HsdM2:HsdS1 (R2-complex). However, the EcoR124I R-M(More)
  • 1