Deciphering the topology/geometry of three-stranded RNA-DNA hybrids (24rit026)


Chris Soteros (University of Saskatchewan)

Natasha Jonoska (University of South Florida)

Koya Shimokawa (Ochanomizu University)

Mariel Vazquez (University of California Davis)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Deciphering the topology/geometry of three-stranded RNA-DNA hybrids" Research in Teams workshop in Banff from March 22 - 24, 2024.

Over the last few decades, knot theory and combinatorics have emerged as powerful tools to ``zoom-in” in on entanglements and interactions involving nucleic acids. Many biological and cellular processes, such as recombination, replication and transcription involve multi stranded DNA and RNA interactions. The topology and geometry of the multi-stranded nucleic acid structures can affect these processes, while at the same time the processes themselves influence the entanglement of the strands composing the structures. This Research in Teams aims to answer the question of what structural information can be obtained by applying topology and discrete mathematics to models that integrate biological properties and are informed by experimental data. To this end, mathematicians having expertise in low-dimensional topology will meet with those having expertise in combinatorics and polymer modelling with the overarching goal of deciphering the entanglement of three-stranded RNA-DNA hybrids.