Workshop on DNA Topology and Structure

December 9, 1994
DIMACS Center, CoRE Building, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

Craig Benham, Mt. Sinai Med.,
Bill Bauer, Stony Brook
Presented under the auspices of the DIMACS Special Year in Mathematical Support for Molecular Biology.

In vivo DNA is partitioned into discrete domains, either as complete closed circular molecules or as loops within linear molecules. This imposes a topological constraint on each domain by which its linking number is fixed. (The linking number is the number of times either strand links through the loop formed by the other strand.) The value of this linking number is carefully regulated by enzymes. Many important biological events are modulated by the topological state of the domain involved, including the initiation of gene expression and of DNA replication.

This workshop will focus on the topological aspects of DNA structure and function that are of greatest biological importance. Topics covered will include the nature of the topological constraints on DNA, and how the resulting stresses affect the folding and the helical structure of the DNA. Dynamical, statistical and mechanical approaches to the analysis of topologically constrained DNA structures will be presented. In addition, topological methods used to determine the mechanisms of activity of enzymes that transiently cut and rearrange DNA strands will be described.

The following speakers will give lectures in this workshop:

William R. Bauer, Microbiology Dept., SUNY - Stony Brook
Craig J. Benham - Biomathematical Sciences Dept., Mount Sinai
John Maddocks, Math Dept., University of Maryland
Tamar Schlick, Courant Institute, NYU
Ned Seemans, Chemistry Dept., NYU
DeWitt Sumners, Math Dept., Florida State University
Alex Vologodskii, Chemistry Dept., NYU

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Document last modified on November 1, 1994