Donald M. Crothers

Sterling Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Associate
Member of Yale faculty since 1964

Web site:


Finding the bend angle and bending flexibility of the EcoRI restriction sequence by minimizing the difference between experimental data and the computer simulation.

Research In our research we seek to understand how the structure, dynamics, and protein binding properties of nucleic acids contribute to their function. Current projects include characterization of the sequence dependence of curvature and flexibility, and the role of these variables in determining the affinity for core histones and regulatory proteins. We also focus on the dynamics of protein-DNA complexes, using NMR and stopped flow methods. Of particular interest is the dependence of the activation energy for DNA bending by proteins on DNA sequence.

B.S. Yale University, 1958
B.A. Cambridge University (England), 1960
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, 1963
Postdoctoral Fellow (NSF), Max-Planck-Institut, Göttingen, 1963

Sloan Foundation Fellowship, 1966
Guggenheim Fellow, 1978
Alexander von Humbolt Senior Scientist Award, 1981
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1986
Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1987
Moore Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 2000

Recent Publications
S. Sugimura & D. M. Crothers. Stepwise binding and bending of DNA by Escherichia coli integration host factor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2006, 103, 18510-18514.

S. V. Kuznetsov, S. Sugimura, P. Vivas, D. M. Crothers & A. Ansari. Direct observation of DNA bending/unbending kinetics in complex with DNA-bending protein IHF. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2006, 103, 18515-18520.

Y. Zhang, A.E. McEwen, D.M. Crothers & S.D, Levene. Analysis of In-Vivo LacR-Mediated Gene Repression Based on the Mechanics of DNA Looping. PLoS ONE 2006, 1, e136.

D.M. Crothers. In memory of Julian Munson Sturtevant. Biophys. Chem. 2007, 126, 5-8.

S.-Y. Huang & D.M. Crothers. The role of nucleotide cofactor binding in cooperativity and specificity of MutS recognition. J. Mol. Biol. 2008, 384, 31-47.

Donald M. Crothers

Research Interests