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Johns Hopkins University logoProgram in Molecular Biophysics
Peter Privalov

Department of Biology
Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

B.S. 1956, University of Georgia, Tbilisi
Ph.D. 1964, University of Georgia, Tbilisi

121 Mudd Hall
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Office: 410-516-6532
Lab: 410-516-6037

We are interested in physical principles of the architecture of biological macromolecules, proteins, nucleic acids and their specific complexes.  This assumes understanding of the energetic basis of their molecular structures, of the forces responsible for folding of these polymeric molecules into unique three-dimensional conformations and their association with the partners, e.g. other proteins, nucleic acids. Or small ligands.  Recognition of the partners and changes resulting from their interaction is actually the most fundamental biological function displayed on the molecular level.

Solution of the above problems requires experimental studies of the changes of biological macromolecules, their mutants and fragments induced by changes in the external conditions, or at association with their molecular partners.  These processes are studied by various physical methods: isothermal titration and scanning microcalorimetry, spectrofluorimetry, spectropolarimetry, spectrophotometry, ultracentrifugation and nonelastic-light scattering.  The methodology of our research consists of finding correlations between the obtained structural and energetic information, computer simulation of the studied processes, design of synthetic models and their experimental verification.

Selected Publications
Carrillo, R.J., A.I. Dragan, and P.L. Privalov. (2010) Stability and DNA-binding ability of the bZIP dimers formed by the ATF-2 and c-Jun transcription factors.  J. Mol. Biol. 396:431-440.

Privalov, P.L., A.I. Dragan, and C. Crane-Robinson. (2009) The cost of DNA bending.  Trends Biochem. Sci. 34:464-470.

Privalov, P.L. (2009) Microcalorimetry of proteins and their complexes.  Methods Mol. Biol. 490:1-39.

Dragan, A.I., D.J. Russell, and P.L. Privalov. (2009) DNA hydration studied by pressure perturbation scanning microcalorimetry.  Biopolymers 91:95-101.

Dragan, A.I., and P.L. Privalov. (2008) Use of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) in studying protein-induced DNA bending.  Methods Enzymol. 450:185-199.

Dragan, A.I., R. Carillo, T.I. Gerasimova, and P.L. Privalov. (2008) Assembling the human IFN-beta enhanceosome in solution.  J. Mol. Biol. 384:335-348.

Privalov, P.L., A.I. Dragan, C. Crane-Robinson, K.J. Breslauer, D.P. Remeta, C.A.S.A. Minetti. (2007) What drives proteins into the major and minor grooves of DNA?  J. Mol. Biol. 365:1-9.

Privalov, P.L., and A.I. Dragan. (2007) Microcalorimetry of biological macromolecules. Biophys. Chem. 126:16-24.

Dragan, A.I., V.V. Hargreaves, E.N. Makeyeva, and P.L. Privalov. (2007) Mechanism of activation of the interferon regulator factor-3: the role of C-terminal domain phosphorylation in IRF-3 dimerization and DNA binding. Nucleic Acids Res. 35:3525-3534.

Dragan, A.I., Z. Li, E.N. Makeyeva, E.I. Milgotina, Y. Liu, C. Crane-Robinson, and P.L. Privalov. (2006) The forces driving the binding of homeodomains to DNA. Biochemistry 45:141-151.

Crane-Robinson, C., A.I. Dragan, and P.L. Privalov. (2006) The extended arms of DNA-binding domains: a tail of tails. Trends Biochem. Sci. 31:547-552.

Hargreaves, V., A.I. Dragan, E.N. Makeyeva, and P.L. Privalov. (2005) Stability and DNA binding ability of the N-terminal domains of IRFs. Biochemistry 44:14202-14209.

Dragan, A.I., L. Frank, Y. Liu, E.N. Makeyeva, C. Crane-Robonsin, and P.L. Privalov. (2004) Thermodynamic signature of GCN4-bZIP binding to DNA indicates the role of water in discriminating between the AP-1 and ATF/CREB sites. J. Mol. Biol. 343:865-878.

Dragan, A.I., C.M. Read, E.N. Makeyeva, E.I. Milgotina, M.E. Churchill, C. Crane-Robinson, and P.L. Privalov. (2004) DNA binding and bending by HMG boxes: energetic determinants of specificity. J. Mol. Biol. 343:371-393.

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