DNA elasticity and its role in gene regulation

David Swigon
Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh

(June 29, 2005 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM)

DNA elasticity and its role in gene regulation

Abstract

An overview will be given of recent research of the speaker on problems in the theory of DNA elasticity and the regulation of gene expression. A brief outline of the theory of the elastic rod model for DNA will focus on methods for solving the equations of mechanical equilibrium in cases when self-contact is present and on conditions for determining the stability of equilibrium configurations. Majority of the talk will be concerned with applications of a base pair level theory of DNA elasticity that enables one to incorporate the effects of nucleotide composition and negative charge of DNA in mesoscale modeling of complex protein DNA assemblies. Examples include models of the Lac repressor mediated DNA loop and the Class I CAP dependent transcription activation complex, which are well supported by available data and yield experimentally verifiable conclusions about the influence of DNA deformability on the mechanism of regulation of the Lac operon by LacR and CAP. The talk will conclude with a discussion of the implications of obtained results for the role of DNA deformability in regulation of transcription.