Searching Fast for a Target on DNA without Falling to Traps

Statistical Physics and Complexity Group meeting

Searching Fast for a Target on DNA without Falling to Traps

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 24th February 2010
  • Speaker: Yariv Kafri (Technion Haifa)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Genomic expression depends critically on both the ability of regulatory proteins to locate specific target sites on DNA within seconds and on the formation of long-lived (many minutes) complexes between these proteins and the DNA. Equilibrium experiments show that indeed regulatory proteins bind tightly to their target site. However, they also find strong binding to other nonspecific sites which act as traps that can dramatically increase the time needed to locate the target. This gives rise to a conflict between the speed and stability requirements. Here we suggest a simple mechanism which can resolve this long-standing paradox.