DNA Structure and Function

ENG BE 566

Physical structure and properties of DNA. The physical principles of the major experimental methods to study DNA are explained, among them: X-ray analysis, NMR, optical methods (absorption, circular dichroism, fluorescence), centrifugation, gel electrophoresis, chemical and enzymatic probing. Different theoretical models of DNA are presented, among them the melting (helix-coil) model, the polyelectrolyte model, the elastic-rod model, and the topological model. Theoretical approaches to treat the models, (e.g., the Monte Carlo method) are covered. Special emphasis is placed on DNA topology and DNA unusual structures and their biological significance. Major structural features of RNA are considered in parallel with DNA. The main principles of DNA-protein interaction are presented. the role of DNA and RNA structure in most fundamental biological proceses, replication, transcription, recombination, reparation, and translation is considered. 4 cr

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