The binding of denatured DNA to the protein coded by gene 32 of phage T 4 is accompanied by a quenching of the fluorescence of the protein tryptophyl residues. Gene 32 protein also binds to UV-irradiated DNA and photosensitizes the splitting of thymine dimers. Thymine bases are regenerated by this photosensitized reaction both in double stranded and in heat denatured DNA. No photosensitized splitting of thymine dimers is observed when the complex formed by gene 32 protein with UV-irradiated DNA is dissociated at high ionic strength. These results are discussed with respect to the possible stacking interaction of tryptophyl residues of gene 32 protein with bases in single stranded DNA. © 1976.
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