ParB dynamics and the critical role of the CTD in DNA condensation unveiled by combined force-fluorescence measurements

Bacillus subtilis ParB forms multimeric networks involving non-specific DNA binding leading to DNA condensation. Previously, we found that an excess of the free C-terminal domain (CTD) of ParB impeded DNA condensation or promoted decondensation of pre-assembled networks (Fisher et al., 2017). However, interpretation of the molecular basis for this phenomenon was complicated by our inability to uncouple protein binding from DNA condensation.

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Force determination in lateral magnetic tweezers combined with TIRF microscopy

Combining single-molecule techniques with fluorescence microscopy has attracted much interest because it allows the correlation of mechanical measurements with directly visualized DNA : protein interactions. In particular, its combination with total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRF) is advantageous because of the high signal-to-noise ratio this technique achieves.

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