Four-Way Helical Junctions in DNA Molecules

  • David M.J. LilleyEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the The IMA Volumes in Mathematics and its Applications book series (IMA, volume 150)

Four-way junctions in DNA Four-way (Holliday) junctions [1] are branchpoints in DNA where four helices are interconnected by the mutual exchange of strands [2] (Figure 1). They are important intermediates in the rearrangement of DNA, and may be created by strand invasion in recombination, double-strand break repair and fork reversal during replication. Additionally, four-way junctions are the central intermediate of the tyrosine recombinases such as Cre [3]. Four-way junctions (and other branched structures) are also important structural and functional elements in RNA, but this aspect will not be considered further here. Nevertheless, many of the conformational principles deduced for the DNA junction apply equally to RNA [4]. This short review focuses on recent developments in understanding the structure and dynamics of DNA four-way junctions.


Halogen Bond Strand Exchange Holliday Junction Conformer Exchange Branch Migration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cancer Research UK Nucleic Acid Structure Research GroupMSI/WTB Complex, The University of DundeeDundeeUK

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