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A method for determining the area of DNA covered by protein binding; accomplished by nuclease digestion of the protein-DNA complex followed by analysis of the region of DNA protected by the interaction with protein.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
footprintinga technique used to identify the region of a DNA molecule to which a specific PROTEIN binds. The DNA sequence covered by the protein is protected from digestion by a NUCLEASE, and this protective phenomenon can be exploited to locate precisely the protein-binding site. DNA in the absence of the protein is digested with the nuclease to give a ladder of DNA fragments, following ELECTROPHORESIS. However, in the presence of bound protein the DNA is not cut at all potential sites by the nuclease. Certain PHOSPHODIESTER bonds in the DNA are protected by the bound protein. Thus the ladder of DNA fragments is incomplete. The absent fragments indicate the position of the ‘footprint’ in the ladder.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005