Unlinking DNA Replication Links by Xer Recombination

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 10:15am - 11:05am
Keller 3-180
Mariel Vazquez (San Francisco State University)
Newly replicated circular chromosomes are topologically linked. Controlling these topological changes, and returning the chromosomes to an unlinked monomeric state is essential to cell survival. XerCD-dif-FtsK recombination acts in the replication termination region of the Escherichia coli chromosome to remove links introduced during replication. We use topological methods to show definitively that there is a unique shortest pathway of unlinking by XerCD-dif-FtsK that strictly reduces the complexity of the links at every step. We delineate the mechanism of action of the enzymes at each step along this pathway and provide a 3D interpretation of the results.
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