DNA mimicry by proteins and the control of enzymatic activity on DNA

David T. F. Dryden

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Cells are unable to perform any function on their DNA in the absence of proteins, and it is of vital importance that these proteins only perform their function at appropriate times during the cell cycle. Thus, DNA-binding proteins are always controlled by a wide range of other factors, primarily other proteins. These controlling factors usually block access of the protein to the DNA, often operating by simple competitive inhibition. However, it has recently been demonstrated that DNA-binding proteins can be controlled by the direct binding of the control protein to the DNA-binding site on the first protein. The structures of these control proteins have revealed that they mimic the structure and electrostatics of DNA. This review highlights the roles of DNA mimics in the control of DNA-binding proteins, suggests other possible candidate proteins using DNA mimicry, and puts forward a range of potential uses of DNA mimics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-382
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in biotechnology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


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