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Supercoil me! The art of knotted DNA maintenance

04 July 2018
New SISSA study published in Nucleic Acids Research

Even living cells have their own tangled problems to solve. They involve knots that arise accidentally in DNA and that can comprise its functionality. A new study by SISSA brings a new twist to the problem and suggests that the DNA propensity to be supercoiled, just like telephone cords, can come to the rescue.  These coils can keep DNA knots locked in place for long enough that they can be untied by specialised enzymes. The computational study, based on molecular dynamics simulations of bacterial DNA, has just been published in "Nucleic Acids Research".