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Department of Mathematical Sciences

Seminar Archives

On this page you can find information about seminars in this and previous academic years, where available on the database.

Biomathematics Seminar: The Topology of DNA-Protein Interactions

Presented by Dorothy Buck, Imperial College London, Department of Mathematics

20 October 2009 14:15 in CM107

The central axis of the famous DNA double helix is often constrained or even circular. The topology of this axis can influence which proteins interact with the underlying DNA. Subsequently, 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. Additionally, there are several protein families that change the axis
topology as a by-product of their interaction with DNA.

This talk will describe some typical DNA conformations, and the families of proteins that change these conformations. I'll present a few examples illustrating how 3-manifold topology has been useful in understanding certain DNA-protein interactions, and discuss the most common techniques used to attack these problems.

No prior knowledge of DNA or topology needed.

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