Quantifying the binding between proteins and open chromatin-like DNA sequences with gold nanorods†
The binding of transcription factors to DNA is one of the main mechanisms in gene regulation. While transcription factors frequently bind to unwrapped long DNA sequences known as open chromatin structures, most bioassays that study protein–DNA binding rely on short oligonucleotide probes. In this work, we develop a gold nanorod-based colorimetric assay for the binding of transcription factors to DNA in long open chromatin-like structures. After the determination of the binding affinity and stoichiometry, we explored the effect of the probe length on the assay performance and compared it to other established techniques.