Topology of Partially Replicated DNA Molecules

Victor Martínez, Christian Schaerer, María José Fernández-Nestosa, Pablo Hernández, Dora B. Krimer, Jorge B. Schvartzman


How the topology of DNA changes during replication is still poorly understood. Every DNA molecule in a partial replication state can be modeled as two separated topological domains, the unreplicated and the replicated region, physically connected by replication forks. The balance of energy between these regions has a key role during DNA replication. The topology of a DNA molecule during the replication process is regulated by enzymes called topoisomerases, which are molecular targets for a variety of drugs like antibiotics and anticancer drugs. The processivity of the topoisomerases depends on the conformational and energetic properties of the replicating DNA molecule. These properties of the replication intermediates are not well characterized.

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