Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How knots can swap positions on a DNA strand

04.07.2014

Computer simulations show how two knots on a DNA strand can interchange their positions


Schematic representation of the swapping event: one of the knots grows in size, while the other diffuses along the contour of the former.

ill./©: Peter Virnau, JGU

Physicists of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Graduate School of Excellence “Materials Science in Mainz” (MAINZ) have been able with the aid of computer simulations to confirm and explain a mechanism by which two knots on a DNA strand can interchange their positions.

For this, one of the knots grows in size while the other diffuses along the contour of the former. Since there is only a small free energy barrier to swap, a significant number of crossing events have been observed in molecular dynamics simulations, i.e., there is a high probability of such interchange of positions.

... more about:
»Academy »DNA »JGU »knots »mechanism »strands

“We assume that this swapping of positions on a DNA strand may also happen in living organisms,” explained Dr. Peter Virnau of the JGU Institute of Physics, who performed the computer simulation together with his colleagues Benjamin Trefz and Jonathan Siebert.

The scientists expect that the mechanism may play an important role in future technologies such as nanopore sequencing, where long DNA strands are sequenced by being pulled though pores. Long DNA strands of more than 100,000 base pairs have an increasing chance of knots, which is relevant for sequencing.
 
Publication:
Benjamin Trefz, Jonathan Siebert, Peter Virnau
How molecular knots can pass through each other
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 19 May 2014
DOI:10.1073/pnas.1319376111
http://www.pnas.org/content/111/22/7948.abstract

Further information:
Dr. Peter Virnau
Condensed Matter Theory Group (KOMET)
Institute of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-20493
fax +49 6131 39-20496
e-mail: virnau@uni-mainz.de
http://www.komet331.physik.uni-mainz.de/virnau.php

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/17448_ENG_HTML.php - press release

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Academy DNA JGU knots mechanism strands

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Darwin 2.0
21.11.2014 | Louisiana State University

nachricht Quantum mechanical calculations reveal the hidden states of enzyme active sites
21.11.2014 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Regional economic cooperation in Central Asia

21.11.2014 | Event News

Educating the Ecucators

13.11.2014 | Event News

36th Annual IATUL Conference 2015: Call for papers and posters

12.11.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Laser from a plane discovers Roman goldmines in Spain

21.11.2014 | Earth Sciences

Darwin 2.0

21.11.2014 | Life Sciences

Siemens Receives Power Island Order with H-class Turbine Technology in Ohio, U.S.A.

21.11.2014 | Press release

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>