DNA mimicry is a direct and effective strategy by which the mimic competes with DNA for the DNA binding sites on other proteins. Until now, only about a dozen proteins have been shown to function via this strategy, including the DNA mimic protein DMP19 from Neisseria meningitides. We have shown previously that DMP19 dimer prevents the operator DNA from binding to the transcription factor NHTF. Here, we provide new evidence that DMP19 monomer can also interact with the Neisseria nucleoid-associated protein HU. Using BS3 crosslinking, gel filtration and isothermal titration calorimetry assays, we found that DMP19 uses its monomeric form to interact with the Neisseria HU dimer. Crosslinking conjugated mass spectrometry was used to investigate the binding mode of DMP19 monomer and HU dimer. Finally, an electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) confirmed that the DNA binding affinity of HU is affected by DMP19. These results showed that DMP19 is bifunctional in the gene regulation of Neisseria through its variable oligomeric forms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0189461
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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