Crystallization of and selenomethionine phasing strategy for a SETMAR-DNA complex

Qiujia Chen, Millie Georgiadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Transposable elements have played a critical role in the creation of new genes in all higher eukaryotes, including humans. Although the chimeric fusion protein SETMAR is no longer active as a transposase, it contains both the DNA-binding domain (DBD) and catalytic domain of the Hsmar1 transposase. The amino-acid sequence of the DBD has been virtually unchanged in 50 million years and, as a consequence, SETMAR retains its sequence-specific binding to the ancestral Hsmar1 terminal inverted repeat (TIR) sequence. Thus, the DNA-binding activity of SETMAR is likely to have an important biological function. To determine the structural basis for the recognition of TIR DNA by SETMAR, the design of TIR-containing oligonucleotides and SETMAR DBD variants, crystallization of DBD-DNA complexes, phasing strategies and initial phasing experiments are reported here. An unexpected finding was that oligonucleotides containing two BrdUs in place of thymidines produced better quality crystals in complex with SETMAR than their natural counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-719
Number of pages7
JournalActa Crystallographica Section:F Structural Biology Communications
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • DNA-binding domain
  • Hsmar1
  • crystallization
  • terminal inverted repeat
  • transposable element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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