Architectural proteins have important roles in compacting and organising chromosomal DNA. There are two potential histone counterpart peptide sequences (Alba1 and Alba2) in the Aeropyrum pernix genome (APE1832.1 and APE1823).
These two peptides were expressed and their interactions with various DNAs were studied using a combination of various experimental techniques: surface plasmon resonance, UV spectrophotometry, circular dichroism–spectropolarimetry, gel-shift assays, and isothermal titration calorimetry.
Our data indicate that there are significant differences in the properties of the Alba1 and Alba2 proteins. Both of these Alba proteins can thermally stabilise DNA polynucleotides, as seen from UV melting curves. Alba2 and equimolar mixtures of Alba1/Alba2 have greater effects on the thermal stability of poly(dA-dT).poly(dA-dT). Surface plasmon resonance sensorgrams for binding of Alba1, Alba2, and equimolar mixtures of Alba1/Alba2 to DNA oligonucleotides show different binding patterns. Circular dichroism indicates that Alba2 has a less-ordered secondary structure than Alba1. The secondary structures of the Alba proteins are not significantly influenced by DNA binding, even at high temperatures. Based on these data, we conclude that Alba1, Alba2, and equimolar mixtures of Alba1/Alba2 show different properties in their binding to various DNAs.