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Topological analysis of Xer site-specific recombination


Speaker: Mariel Vazquez, San Francisco State University
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Wed, Nov 15 2006, 4:10PM

DNA topology is the study of geometrical (supercoiling) and topological (knotting) properties of DNA loops and circular DNA molecules. Virtually every reaction involving DNA is influenced by DNA topology, or has topological effects. Site-specific recombinases are enzymes able to change the topology of circular DNA by introducing two double-stranded breaks on the DNA molecule, recombining the lose ends, and resealing the breaks. Mathematical analysis of the resulting topological changes may provide relevant information about the possible enzymatic pathways, and about DNA conformation at the moment of double-stranded break induction. In this talk I will present our work on XerCD recombination system, which involves mathematical, computational and visualization techniques. In particular I will show how we applied, and extended, the tangle model for site-specific recombination to propose a unique enzymatic mechanism of action.