About the Workshop
The helical structure of DNA and the compaction of our two-meter-long genome into a confined nuclear volume creates a variety of DNA topological challenges to the cell. Cellular processes, such as replication and transcription, induce dramatic changes in DNA topology, including DNA supercoiling, knots, and entanglements. These changes occur in the context of chromatin and therefore must be coordinated with other chromatin processes, such as chromosome segregation, higher-order chromosome folding and repair. The action of specialised enzymes, such as DNA topoisomerases, solve topological problems and coordinate these processes in space and time. Defects in controlling DNA topology lead to genomic instability and are associated with cancer and neurodegeneration. An integrated understanding of genome metabolism must therefore consider how dedicated factors shape the topological context of DNA processes, and how this is regulated to maintain faithful transmission of genetic information to the daughter cells.
This Workshop will cover emerging fundamental aspects of factors governing DNA topology and its impact on critical cellular processes of genome metabolism, including transcription, replication, segregation, chromosome architecture and repair. We aim to provide a global view of how controlling DNA topology acts as a keystone of genome dynamics.
Image credit: Valerie Lamour, Vassilis Roukos, Joaquin Roca