A study of the impact of DNA helical rise on protein-DNA interaction

Francesco Pedone, Filomena Mazzei, Daniele Santoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nucleosomes are not uniformly distributed along DNA and their positioning (termed “nucleosomal landscape”) can be derived using data available for several genomes. In this study we analyzed DNA helical rise profiles through a tetranucleotide code, and we defined the nucleosomal landscape of several sequences forming dinucleosomes and of the sequences of huntingtin, myotonic dystrophy type 1 and fragile mental retardation 2 genes, which contained several repeated sequences. We also analyzed the profiles of some sequences interacting with transcription factors or with RNA polymerase II. In the genomes of Cenorhabditis elegans, Mus musculus and Homo sapiens we found profiles with extremely low helical rise values, characteristic of nucleosome free regions. We defined these regions as “holes” and found that their presence correlates with lamina associated domains sequences. Altogether, this study shows that DNA helical rise profile may have a role in gene expression modulation and in shaping chromosomal structure.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • DNA – Nuclear lamina interaction
  • Helical rise
  • Nucleosomes positioning
  • Transcription factors
  • Trinucleotide repeat expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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