DNA Curtains Shed Light on Complex Molecular Systems During Homologous Recombination

* These authors contributed equally
This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

Homologous recombination (HR) is important for the repair of double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) and stalled replication forks in all organisms. Defects in HR are closely associated with a loss of genome integrity and oncogenic transformation in human cells. HR involves coordinated actions of a complex set of proteins, many of which remain poorly understood. The key aspect of the research described here is a technology called "DNA curtains", a technique which allows for the assembly of aligned DNA molecules on the surface of a microfluidic sample chamber. They can then be visualized by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM). DNA curtains was pioneered by our laboratory and allows for direct access to spatiotemporal information at millisecond time scales and nanometer scale resolution, which cannot be easily revealed through other methodologies. A major advantage of DNA curtains is that it simplifies the collection of statistically relevant data from single molecule experiments. This research continues to yield new insights into how cells regulate and preserve genome integrity.