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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(4), 8252-8270; doi:10.3390/ijms14048252

DNA Self-Assembly: From Chirality to Evolution

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Aix-Marseille Université, IGS UMR7256, Marseille 13288, France
Received: 20 February 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2013 / Accepted: 21 March 2013 / Published: 15 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Self-Assembly 2012)
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Transient or long-term DNA self-assembly participates in essential genetic functions. The present review focuses on tight DNA-DNA interactions that have recently been found to play important roles in both controlling DNA higher-order structures and their topology. Due to their chirality, double helices are tightly packed into stable right-handed crossovers. Simple packing rules that are imposed by DNA geometry and sequence dictate the overall architecture of higher order DNA structures. Close DNA-DNA interactions also provide the missing link between local interactions and DNA topology, thus explaining how type II DNA topoisomerases may sense locally the global topology. Finally this paper proposes that through its influence on DNA self-assembled structures, DNA chirality played a critical role during the early steps of evolution.
Keywords: chromatin; topology; higher-order structures; topoisomerase; crossover; DNA packaging chromatin; topology; higher-order structures; topoisomerase; crossover; DNA packaging
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Timsit, Y. DNA Self-Assembly: From Chirality to Evolution. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 8252-8270.

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