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Thursday, December 2 • 5:30pm - 5:40pm
OP 14 - Crossing complexity of space-filling curves reveals new principles of genome folding

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Crossing complexity of space-filling curves reveals new principles of genome folding

Presenting Author: Nicholas Kinney, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Molly Hickman, Virginia Tech
Ramu Anandakrishnan, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Harold Garner, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Abstract: Space-filling curves have been used for decades to study the folding principles of globular proteins, compact polymers, and chromatin. Different types of curves can be distinguished by their folding principles. Random (equilibrium) curves tend to have abundant knots and tangles; on the other hand, crumpled (Hilbert) curves lack knots and tangles. This latter class of curves is thought to be biologically favorable; particularly as models of genome folding in actively dividing cells. Indeed, cell division requires robust segregation of DNA. The present work investigates a new property of space filling curves: the crossing complexity. Briefly, chain crossings are tallied in the same way that stand breaks and ligations occur during mitosis. Crossing complexity is then compared for equilibrium and Hilbert curves with two main results. First, Hilbert curves limit entanglement between chromosomes. Second, Hilbert curves do not limit entanglement in a rudimentary model of S-phase DNA. Our second result is particularly surprising yet easily rationalized with a geometric argument. The future direction of this work seeks to reconstruct space-filling curves directly from chromosome proximity ligation experiments. A candidate algorithm is discussed. If successful, this will lead to a better understanding of the folding principles that govern the human genome.

Thursday December 2, 2021 5:30pm - 5:40pm MST
Ballroom Salon 1