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J Mol Biol. 1999 Feb 26;286(3):637-43.

Formation of knots in partially replicated DNA molecules.

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ETH-Hönggerberg, Zürich, CH-8093, Switzerland.


Bacterial plasmids with two origins of replication in convergent orientation are frequently knotted in vivo. The knots formed are localised within the newly replicated DNA regions. Here, we analyse DNA knots tied within replication bubbles of such plasmids, and observe that the knots formed show predominantly positive signs of crossings. We propose that helical winding of replication bubbles in vivo leads to topoisomerase-mediated formation of knots on partially replicated DNA molecules.

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