Monday 13 May 2013Knotted DNA: Models and Consequences

Dorothy Buck - Imperial College London

Laver LT3 15:00-16:00

The central axis of the famous DNA double helix is often topologically constrained or even circular. The shape of this axis can influence which proteins interact with the underlying DNA. So it is perhaps not surprising that in all cells there are proteins whose primary function is to change the DNA axis topology -- for example converting a torus link into an unknot. These proteins are major targets of both antibiotics and chemotherapeutic drugs.
Additionally, there are several protein families that change the axis topology as a by-product of their interaction with DNA, including the main proteins used to genetically modify organisms.

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