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The Topology of DNA-Protein Interactions

Special Events

Speaker: Dorothy Buck, Brown University
Location: 693 Kerr
Start time: Thu, Jan 15 2004, 4:10PM

DNA molecules often have a circular, or topologically constrained, central axis. The topology of this axis can influence which proteins interact with the underlying DNA. Subsequently, there are proteins, topoisomerases, whose primary function is to change the DNA axis topology. Additionally, there are protein families that change the axis topology as a by-product of their interaction with DNA. This talk will describe typical DNA conformations, and the families of proteins that change these. We will present one example illustrating how 3-manifold topology has been useful in understanding certain DNA-protein interactions, and discuss the most common topological techniques. (No prior knowledge of molecular biology needed.)