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Polymers 2017, 9(8), 317;

Are There Knots in Chromosomes?

Department of Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Staudinger Weg 9, 55128 Mainz, Germany
Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, 80 Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1GA, UK
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knotted and Catenated Polymers)
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Recent developments have for the first time allowed the determination of three-dimensional structures of individual chromosomes and genomes in nuclei of single haploid mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells based on Hi–C chromosome conformation contact data. Although these first structures have a relatively low resolution, they provide the first experimental data that can be used to study chromosome and intact genome folding. Here we further analyze these structures and provide the first evidence that G1 phase chromosomes are knotted, consistent with the fact that plots of contact probability vs sequence separation show a power law dependence that is intermediate between that of a fractal globule and an equilibrium structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: knots; chromosomes; chromosome territories; DNA; fractal globule knots; chromosomes; chromosome territories; DNA; fractal globule

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Siebert, J.T.; Kivel, A.N.; Atkinson, L.P.; Stevens, T.J.; Laue, E.D.; Virnau, P. Are There Knots in Chromosomes? Polymers 2017, 9, 317.

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