Topological aspects of DNA function and protein folding

This meeting will provide a forum for biological scientists, physicists and mathematicians to discuss recent developments in the application of topology to the study of DNA and protein structure.
The structure and function of DNA and proteins are affected by the topology of the DNA strands or polypeptide chains, respectively. During DNA replication, transcription or recombination, DNA molecules become supercoiled, knotted or catenated. These processes are dynamic and are modulated by the activity of site-specific recombinases, which break double stranded DNA at a specific locations, and re-assort and rejoin the ends, and DNA topoisomerases, which permit intra- or inter-molecular strand passages by mechanisms also involving the breaking and rejoining of the DNA backbone. The transient DNA breaks induced by topoisomerases have made them a fruitful target for cytotoxic antibacterial and anti-tumour drugs. Recent structural and biochemical studies have elucidated many mechanistic details of both topoisomerases and recombinases.
While supercoiling, knotting and catenation have been intensively studied for over 40 years, the realization that proteins can also be knotted dates back just one decade. The number of known proteins that form knots in their native structure is growing and we are beginning to understand how knotted proteins can fold, and the potential structural advantages of knotted proteins.
+ show speakers and program
Craig Benham (University of California, Davis, USA)
Marek Cieplak (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)
Sean Colloms (University of Glasgow, UK)
Isabel Darcy (University of Iowa, USA)
Giovanni Dietler (EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland)
Charles Dorman (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
Ian Grainge (University of Newcastle, Australia)
Kai Ishihara (Imperial College London, UK)
Sophie Jackson (University of Cambridge, UK)
Makkuni Jayaram (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
Alexander Kister (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Nancy Kleckner (Harvard University, Cambridge, USA)
Erez Lieberman Aiden (Harvard University, Cambridge, USA)
Steve Levene (University of Texas at Dallas, USA)
John Maddocks (EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland)
Davide Marenduzzo (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Tony Maxwell (John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK)
Christian Micheletti (SISSA, Trieste, Italy)
Kenneth Millett (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
Leonid Mirny (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
Alfonso Mondragon (Northwestern University, Chicago, USA)
Mario Nicodemi (University of Naples Federico II, Italy)
Wilma Olson (Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA)
Eric Rawdon (University of St Thomas, Minnesota, USA)
Tamar Schlick (New York University, USA)
Chris Soteros (University of Saskatchewan, Canada)
Joanna Sulkowska (University of California, San Diego, USA)
David Swigon (University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
Andrew Travers (University of Cambridge, UK)
Mariel Vazquez (San Francisco State University, USA)
Peter Virnau (Johannes Gutenberg-Universit├Ąt Mainz, Germany)
Alex Vologodskii (New York University, USA)
Krystyna Zakrzewska (IBPC, Paris, France)
Lynn Zechiedrich (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA)

3 Sep - 7 Sep 2012

Cambridge
United Kingdom
meeting website