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Writhe formulas and antipodal points in plectonemic DNA configurations

Neukirch, S; Starostin, EL; (2008) Writhe formulas and antipodal points in plectonemic DNA configurations. Phys. Rev. E , 78 041912 - ?. 10.1103/PhysRevE.78.041912. Green open access

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Abstract

The linking and writhing numbers are key quantities when characterizing the structure of a piece of supercoiled DNA. Defined as double integrals over the shape of the double-helix, these numbers are not always straightforward to compute, though a simplified formula exists. We examine the range of applicability of this widely-used simplified formula, and show that it cannot be employed for plectonemic DNA. We show that inapplicability is due to a hypothesis of Fuller theorem that is not met. The hypothesis seems to have been overlooked in many works.

Type:Article
Title:Writhe formulas and antipodal points in plectonemic DNA configurations
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.1103/PhysRevE.78.041912
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.78.041912
Additional information:20 pages, 7 figures, 47 references
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

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