Publications by Jun Fan


Preparation of DNA Substrates and Functionalized Glass Surfaces for Correlative Nanomanipulation and Colocalization (NanoCOSM) of Single Molecules.

Methods in enzymology 582 (2017) 275-296

C Duboc, J Fan, ET Graves, TR Strick

Simultaneous nanomanipulation and colocalization of single molecules (NanoCOSM) provides a unique opportunity to correlate the mechanical properties and activities of biomolecules with their conformational states or states of assembly as part of dynamic macromolecular complexes. This opens the door to real-time single-molecule analysis of the correlations between structure, function, and composition of large multicomponent protein complexes.


Reconstruction of bacterial transcription-coupled repair at single-molecule resolution.

Nature 536 (2016) 234-237

J Fan, M Leroux-Coyau, NJ Savery, TR Strick

Escherichia coli Mfd translocase enables transcription-coupled repair by displacing RNA polymerase (RNAP) stalled on a DNA lesion and then coordinating assembly of the UvrAB(C) components at the damage site. Recent studies have shown that after binding to and dislodging stalled RNAP, Mfd remains on the DNA in the form of a stable, slowly translocating complex with evicted RNAP attached. Here we find, using a series of single-molecule assays, that recruitment of UvrA and UvrAB to Mfd-RNAP arrests the translocating complex and causes its dissolution. Correlative single-molecule nanomanipulation and fluorescence measurements show that dissolution of the complex leads to loss of both RNAP and Mfd. Subsequent DNA incision by UvrC is faster than when only UvrAB(C) are available, in part because UvrAB binds 20-200 times more strongly to Mfd–RNAP than to DNA damage. These observations provide a quantitative framework for comparing complementary DNA repair pathways in vivo.


DNA replication: Unlocking the secrets of fork arrest.

Nature chemical biology 11 (2015) 550-551

J Fan, TR Strick


A dynamic DNA-repair complex observed by correlative single-molecule nanomanipulation and fluorescence.

Nature structural & molecular biology 22 (2015) 452-457

ET Graves, C Duboc, J Fan, F Stransky, M Leroux-Coyau, TR Strick

We characterize in real time the composition and catalytic state of the initial Escherichia coli transcription-coupled repair (TCR) machinery by using correlative single-molecule methods. TCR initiates when RNA polymerase (RNAP) stalled by a lesion is displaced by the Mfd DNA translocase, thus giving repair components access to the damage. We previously used DNA nanomanipulation to obtain a nanomechanical readout of protein-DNA interactions during TCR initiation. Here we correlate this signal with simultaneous single-molecule fluorescence imaging of labeled components (RNAP, Mfd or RNA) to monitor the composition and localization of the complex. Displacement of stalled RNAP by Mfd results in loss of nascent RNA but not of RNAP, which remains associated with Mfd as a long-lived complex on the DNA. This complex translocates at ∼4 bp/s along the DNA, in a manner determined by the orientation of the stalled RNAP on the DNA.


Stopped in its tracks: the RNA polymerase molecular motor as a robust sensor of DNA damage.

DNA repair 20 (2014) 49-57

K Howan, J Monnet, J Fan, TR Strick

DNA repair is often a complex, multi-component, multi-step process; this makes detailed kinetic analysis of the different steps of repair a challenging task using standard biochemical methods. At the same time, single-molecule methods are well-suited for extracting kinetic information despite time-averaging due to diffusion of biochemical components and stochasticity of chemical reaction steps. Here we discuss recent experiments using DNA nanomanipulation in a magnetic trap to study the initiation of transcription-coupled repair in a model bacterial system comprising the canonical Escherichia coli RNA polymerase and the Mfd translocase which specifically binds to it. These experiments provide kinetic insight into the reaction process, helping to explain how Mfd discriminates between transcribing RNAP and stalled RNAP. They also identify a reliably long-lived intermediate containing Mfd translocase and, potentially, RNA polymerase. This intermediate presumably serves as a platform for assembly of downstream repair components UvrAB(C).


Characterization of an Ac transposon system based on apt1-m1 (Ac) on the long arm of maize chromosome 9.

Genetica 140 (2012) 337-347

F Wang, P Li, Y Tang, J Fan, D Xu, S Guo, Z Xu, R Song

Activator/Dissociation (Ac/Ds) transposable elements have been used in maize insertional mutagenesis as a complement to Mutator (Mu). In this study, to further improve the efficiency of the Ac/Ds mutagenesis system, we adopted apt1-m1 (Ac) on the long arm of chromosome 9 (9L) as a donor Ac to create an Ac insertion library. This system is based on the negative selection pressure against the donor Ac, and it was highly efficient for isolating new transposition events. We obtained 9,625 transposition events from 1083 F1 ears with an average transposition rate of 8.66 % (rates ranged from 1.11 to 29.73 %). We also adopted a modified PCR-based genome walking strategy to improve the efficiency of the new method for isolating transposon-flanking sequences. This method is more efficient than the Southern-based method that was used in previous studies. A validation step was developed to distinguish transposon tags derived from newly transposed Ac or Ds elements. Using this PCR-based method, we isolated 67 inheritable flanking sequences from the apt1-m1 (Ac) transposition library; of these, 51 were confirmed as tr-Ac-flanking sequences and 11 were tr-Ds-flanking sequences. Similar to other Ac donors from different loci, the apt1-m1 (Ac) system also exhibited a preference for short distance transposition. In this study, we have further improved the Ac mutagenesis system in maize for gene isolation and functional genomics studies.


An Ac transposon system based on maize chromosome 4S for isolating long-distance-transposed Ac tags in the maize genome.

Genetica 138 (2010) 1261-1270

F Wang, Z Li, J Fan, P Li, W Hu, G Wang, Z Xu, R Song

Transposon tagging is an important tool for gene isolation and functional studies. In maize, several transposon-tagging systems have been developed, mostly using Activator/Dissociation (Ac/Ds) and Mutator systems. Here, we establish another Ac-based transposon system with the donor Ac tightly linked with sugary1 (su1) on maize chromosome 4S. Newly transposed Ac (tr-Acs) were detected based on a negative dosage effect, and long-distance-transposed Ac events were identified and isolated from the donor Ac by a simple backcross scheme. In this study, we identified 208 independent long-distance-transposed Ac lines. Thirty-one flanking sequences of these tr-Acs were isolated and localized in the maize genome. As found in previous studies, the tr-Acs preferentially inserted into genic sequences. The distribution of tr-Acs is not random. In our study, the tr-Acs preferentially transposed into chromosomes 1, 2, 9 and 10. We discuss the preferential distribution of tr-Acs from Ac systems. Our system is complementary to two other Ac-based regional-mutagenesis systems in maize, and the combined use of these systems will achieve an even and high-density distribution of Ac elements throughout the maize genome for functional-genomics studies.