Predicting knot or catenane type of site-specific recombination products

Dorothy Buck, Erica Flapan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (SciVal)


Site-specific recombination on supercoiled circular DNA yields a variety of knotted or catenated products. Here, we present a topological model of this process and characterize all possible products of the most common substrates: unknots, unlinks, and torus knots and catenanes. This model tightly prescribes the knot or catenane type of previously uncharacterized data. We also discuss how the model helps to distinguish products of distributive recombination and, in some cases, determine the order of processive recombination products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1186-99
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2007


  • DNA, Superhelical
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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