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BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

DNA unlinking by Xer recombination Vazquez, Mariel


Newly replicated circular chromosomes are topologically linked. XerCD-dif- FtsK recombination acts in the replication termination region of the Escherichia coli chromosome to remove links introduced during homologous recombination and replication, whereas Topoisomerase IV removes replication links only. Based on gel mobility patterns of the products of recombination, a stepwise unlinking pathway has been proposed. We show definitively that there is a unique shortest pathway of unlinking by XerCD-dif-FtsK that strictly reduces the complexity of the links at every step. We delineate the mechanism of action of the enzymes at each step along this pathway and provide a 3D interpretation of the results. This is joint work with Koya Shimokawa, Kai Ishihara, Ian Grainge and David Sherratt.

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