Crystallization of Protein-DNA Complexes

  • Thomas Hollis
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 363)


Determining the crystal structure of a protein-DNA complex can provide a wealth of information regarding protein function and mechanism. The foundation for all successful X-ray structure determination is the ability to produce diffraction-quality crystals. Crystallization of protein-DNA complexes often presents unique challenges because of the additional parameters involved. This chapter will outline many of those challenges, including choice of DNA and formation of a stable protein-DNA complex and provide guidance in preparing for crystallization experiments. Additionally, techniques for oligonucleotide purification, sample preparation, and crystallization methods are provided. Careful thought and initial analysis of the protein-DNA complex prior to crystallization experiments followed by optimization of crystallization parameters can greatly increase the likelihood of producing well-diffracting crystals.

Key Words

Crystallization DNA purification protein-DNA complex DNA oligonucleotides protein-DNA crystallization X-ray crystallography 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Hollis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Center for Structural BiologyWake Forest University Health Science CenterWinston Salem

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