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BMC Biotechnol. 2007 Dec 21;7:94.

Production of highly knotted DNA by means of cosmid circularization inside phage capsids.

Author information

1
Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, CSIC, Jordi Girona 18-26, 08034 Barcelona, Spain. soniatrigueros@yahoo.es

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The formation of DNA knots is common during biological transactions. Yet, functional implications of knotted DNA are not fully understood. Moreover, potential applications of DNA molecules condensed by means of knotting remain to be explored. A convenient method to produce abundant highly knotted DNA would be highly valuable for these studies.

RESULTS:

We had previously shown that circularization of the 11.2 kb linear DNA of phage P4 inside its viral capsid generates complex knots by the effect of confinement. We demonstrate here that this mechanism is not restricted to the viral genome. We constructed DNA cosmids as small as 5 kb and introduced them inside P4 capsids. Such cosmids were then recovered as a complex mixture of highly knotted DNA circles. Over 250 mug of knotted cosmid were typically obtained from 1 liter of bacterial culture.

CONCLUSION:

With this biological system, DNA molecules of varying length and sequence can be shaped into very complex and heterogeneous knotted forms. These molecules can be produced in preparative amounts suitable for systematic studies and applications.

PMID:
18154674
PMCID:
PMC2231350
DOI:
10.1186/1472-6750-7-94
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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