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Biopolymer organization upon confinement

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Original languageEnglish
Article number283102
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Volume22
Issue number28
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2010

Abstract

Biopolymers in vivo are typically subject to spatial restraints, either as a result of molecular crowding in the cellular medium or of direct spatial confinement. DNA in living organisms provides a prototypical example of a confined biopolymer. Confinement prompts a number of biophysics questions. For instance, how can the high level of packing be compatible with the necessity to access and process the genomic material? What mechanisms can be adopted in vivo to avoid the excessive geometrical and topological entanglement of dense phases of biopolymers? These and other fundamental questions have been addressed in recent years by both experimental and theoretical means. A review of the results, particularly of those obtained by numerical studies, is presented here. The review is mostly devoted to DNA packaging inside bacteriophages, which is the best studied example both experimentally and theoretically. Recent selected biophysical studies of the bacterial genome organization and of chromosome segregation in eukaryotes are also covered.

    Research areas

  • DOUBLE-STRANDED DNA, DOUBLE-HELICAL DNA, VIRAL CAPSIDS, KNOTTED DNA, PHAGE CAPSIDS, BACTERIOPHAGE CAPSIDS, DYNAMICS SIMULATION, MULTIVALENT CATIONS, FORCE GENERATION, EJECTION FORCES

ID: 1452269