The presence of a single lac repressor binding sequence on plasmid DNAs is shown to mediate the formation of interlocked dimers in E. coli. The presence of both homo- and hetero-interlocked dimers suggests that the lac repressor complex can bring together randomly two plasmid DNA molecules to facilitate gyrase-mediated interlocking. The exclusive formation of multiply intertwined dimers also suggests that the lac repressor complex may bind simultaneously to a pair of replicated daughter plasmid molecules prior to their segregation. The formation of interlocked plasmid DNAs can be indicative of interaction between two DNA bound proteins in vivo.
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