Dr. Chen, Chinpan 's publons link picture

Dr. Chen, Chinpan

Research Fellow
  • 02-26523035 (Lab) (Room No: N133)
  • 02-27887641 (Fax)

  • Structural Biology
  • NMR

Education and Positions:
  • Ph.D. University of Washington

Highlight Detail

In-depth study of DNA binding of Cys2His2 finger domains in testis zinc-finger protein

Dr. Chen, Chinpan
PLoS One, Apr 06, 2017



Previously, we identified that both fingers 1 and 2 in the three Cys2His2 zinc-finger domains (TZD) of testis zinc-finger protein specifically bind to its cognate DNA; however, finger 3 is non-sequence–specific. To gain insights into the interaction mechanism, here we further investigated the DNA-binding characteristics of TZD bound to non-specific DNAs and its finger segments bound to cognate DNA. TZD in non-specific DNA binding showed smaller chemical shift perturbations, as expected. However, the direction of shift perturbation, change of DNA imino-proton NMR signal, and dynamics on the 15N backbone atom significantly differed between specific and non-specific binding. Using these unique characteristics, we confirmed that the three single-finger segments (TZD1, TZD2 and TZD3) and the two-finger segment (TZD23) non-specifically bind to the cognate DNA. In comparison, the other two-finger segment (TZD12) binding to the cognate DNA features simultaneous non-specific and semi-specific binding, both slowly exchanged in terms of NMR timescale. The process of TZD binding to the cognate DNA is likely stepwise: initially TZD non-specifically binds to DNA, then fingers 1 and 2 insert cooperatively into the major groove of DNA by semi-specific binding, and finally finger 3 non-specifically binds to DNA, which promotes the specific binding on fingers 1 and 2 and stabilizes the formation of a specific TZD–DNA complex.