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CNA Seminar/Colloquium/Joint Pitt-CNA Colloquium
Richard Kollar
Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Title: Coagulation-fragmentation dynamics in telomeres

Abstract: Telomeres, non-coding terminal structures of DNA strands, consist of repetitive long tandem repeats of a specific length. An absence of an enzyme telomerase in certain cellular structures requires an alternative telomerase-independent pathway for telomeric sequence length regulation. Besides linear telomeres other configurations as telomeric circles and telomeric loops were experimentally observed. They are suspected to play an important role in a universal mechanism for stabilization of the ends of linear DNA that possibly dates back to pre-telomerase ages. We propose a mathematical model that captures biophysical interactions of various telomeric structures on a short time scale and that is able to reproduce experimental measurements in mtDNA of yeast. Moreover, the model opens up a couple of interesting mathematical problems as validity of a quasi-steady state approximation and dynamic properties of discrete coagulation-fragmentation systems. We also identify and estimate key factors influencing the length distribution of telomeric circles, loops and strand invasions using numerical simulations for a model constructed for C. parapsilosis.

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Time: 1:30 pm
Location: Wean Hall 7218
Submitted by:  David Kinderlehrer