DNA in three dimensions

Feature article in Nature, Vol. 544, Issue. 7650, pp. 284-286, 20 April 2017, “DNA’s secret weapon against knots and tangles”

 

Summary of article: DNA is usually depicted as two dimensional store of information needed to encode the proteins and enzymes necessary to power life. However, DNA is densely packed in three dimensions to facilitate the encapsulation of three billion nucleotides of information in a micrometer sized cell. Hence, the three dimensional architecture of DNA is of interest from the perspective of information storage as well as functional reading of that information through epigenetic markers and transcriptional processes. Specifically, the entire length of the DNA molecule is compartmentalized into topological associating domains (TAD), which are delineated by cohensin complex as well as CTCF marker proteins. But, how do we understand the structure-function relationship of topological associating domains with respect to overall health of the cell? Specifically, what role does DNA in loops contribute to cellular processes at the molecular and macroscopic level? Are the DNA in loops actively transcribed?

 

Link to original article: https://www.nature.com/news/dna-s-secret-weapon-against-knots-and-tangles-1.21838

 

Category: Interesting scientific articles, biochemistry, molecular biology,

Tags: topological associating domains, cohensin, loop extrusion, DNA, genome, CTCF markers,

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