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Model systems to study DNA topological properties

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To study DNA topological properties we need a convenient model system. Usual systems based on DNA knots and links (catenanes) have fundamental limitations. The equilibrium fraction of knots in DNA molecules a few kb in length is very low. Experimental measurement and theoretical investigation of such small fractions are difficult. The equilibrium fraction of catenanes depends on DNA concentration in solution and therefore can be shifted to a range convenient for the measurements. However, catenation is an intermolecular reaction and as such it is much more difficult for theoretical analysis. An ideal object for analysis of DNA topological transformations is a single DNA chain that can adopt at least two different topological states with comparable probability. I describe preparation of a new object with both of the above properties. The object consists of two circular DNA molecules a few kb in length linked by a short DNA connector. The equilibrium topological properties of t he bridged DNA circles have been investigated both experimentally and computationally.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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