Biophysics of knotting

Annu Rev Biophys. 2010;39:349-66. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biophys.093008.131412.

Abstract

Knots appear in a wide variety of biophysical systems, ranging from biopolymers, such as DNA and proteins, to macroscopic objects, such as umbilical cords and catheters. Although significant advancements have been made in the mathematical theory of knots and some progress has been made in the statistical mechanics of knots in idealized chains, the mechanisms and dynamics of knotting in biophysical systems remain far from fully understood. We report on recent progress in the biophysics of knotting-the formation, characterization, and dynamics of knots in various biophysical contexts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA Topoisomerases / metabolism
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry*

Substances

  • Proteins
  • DNA
  • DNA Topoisomerases