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Doing a spin with DNA

a clamp and then temporarily cuts through one of the two DNA strands. The accumulated torsional forces in the DNA are then spun out around the intact strand. After a number of turns the topoisomerase ones again firmly grabs the spinning DNA and 'glues' (ligates) the broken stands neatly back together again. The researchers were able to determine the exact number of turns removed by the topisomerase between 'cutting' and 'gluing'.

The precise mechanism of topoisomerase IB is also important for cancer research. Drugs which inhibit the functioning of topoisomerase IB are already in clinical use, but can possibly be improved using the knowledge from this study.


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Contact: Dr Nynke Dekker
nynke.dekker@mb.tn.tudelft.nl
31-152-783-219
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
14-Apr-2005


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