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0 Q&A 2344 Views Jul 20, 2021

Protein filaments are dynamic entities that respond to external stimuli by slightly or substantially modifying the internal binding geometries between successive protomers. This results in overall changes in the filament architecture, which are difficult to model due to the helical character of the system. Here, we describe how distortions in RecA nucleofilaments and their consequences on the filament-DNA and bound DNA-DNA interactions at different stages of the homologous recombination process can be modeled using the PTools/Heligeom software and subsequent molecular dynamics simulation with NAMD. Modeling methods dealing with helical macromolecular objects typically rely on symmetric assemblies and take advantage of known symmetry descriptors. Other methods dealing with single objects, such as MMTK or VMD, do not integrate the specificities of regular assemblies. By basing the model building on binding geometries at the protomer-protomer level, PTools/Heligeom frees the building process from a priori knowledge of the system topology and enables irregular architectures and symmetry disruption to be accounted for.

Graphical abstract:

Model of ATP hydrolysis-induced distortions in the recombinant nucleoprotein, obtained by combining RecA-DNA and two RecA-RecA binding geometries.

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