Prof. Michael Anderson Lomholt (University of Southern Denmark)
The restriction enzyme EcoRV searches for its specific target on DNA via facilitated diffusion exploiting a combination of 1D sliding along DNA and 3D bulk diffusion. This has been demonstrated in several experiments. However, in vitro measurements of the overall search time of EcoRV give results that are much smaller than the predictions of standard models for facilitated diffusion. The discrepancy can be explained by EcoRV having an inactive state. But this seems to introduce a paradox, since the survival of E. coli bacteria depends on the efficiency of the EcoRV target search. In this talk I will explain how this paradox can be resolved under in vivo conditions, and how the inactive state turns out to be an advantage under conditions leading to subdiffusion.