REPSA: A method for determining the sequence specificity of DNA binding ligands

Paul Hardenbol, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


We developed a novel combinatorial method termed restriction endonuclease protection selection and amplification (REPSA) to identify consensus binding sites of DNA-binding ligands. REPSA uses a unique enzymatic selection based on the inhibition of cleavage by a type IIS restriction endonuclease, an enzyme that cleaves DNA at a site distal from its recognition sequence. Sequences bound by a ligand are protected from cleavage while unprotected sequences are cleaved. This enzymatic selection occurs in solution under mild conditions and is dependant only on the DNA-binding ability of the ligand. Thus, REPSA is useful for a broad range of ligands including all classes of DNA-binding ligands, weakly binding ligands, mixed populations of ligands, and unknown ligands. Here I describe REPSA and the application of this method to select the consensus DNA-binding sequences of three representative DNA-binding ligands; a nucleic acid (triplex-forming single-stranded DNA), a protein (the TATA-binding protein), and a small molecule (Distamycin A). These studies generated new information regarding the specificity of these ligands in addition to establishing their DNA-binding sequences.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Hardenbol, Paul, "REPSA: A method for determining the sequence specificity of DNA binding ligands" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9700322.