School of Mathematics

Davide Marenduzzo

Davide Marenduzzo abstract

Davide Marenduzzo, School of Physics, UoE

Modelling protein-driven DNA organisation, and chromatin self-assembly

DNA in living cells of both bacteria and eukaryotes invariably associates with a number of proteins that continuously bind and dissociate, and stronglyaffect the 3D organisation of the genome.  We will show Brownian dynamics simulations which demonstrate that binding ofproteins which are capable of bridging the DNA spontaneously induces a generic, non-specific attraction between proteins. We will also propose a statistical physics theory which can capture this behaviour. We will then explore how similar phenomena lead to topological bottlenecks which hinder the correct self-assembly of chromatin fibres (the building blocksof chromosomes) from DNA and histone proteins, and we will see how the physics of supercoiling, through the action of appropriate enzymes, can aid in the resolution of such problems.