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Non-equilibrium phase transition in a model for supercoiling-dependent DNA transcription

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Abstract

We study a variant of a recently proposed non-equilibrium stochastic model for supercoiling-dependent transcription in DNA. In the case of a circular DNA molecule with overall positive supercoiling, we find a non-equilibrium phase transition between an absorbing phase, where all genes are switched off due to the supercoiling, and an active phase with a non-zero transcription rate. Mean field theory predicts that the transition should be continuous at a critical value of the background supercoiling, and we focus our analysis on this case. Our simulations suggest that the switch between the transcribed and silent phases may actually be a fluctuation-induced discontinuous transition, where the jump in the transcription rate decreases with the number of genes in the system.

Graphical abstract: Non-equilibrium phase transition in a model for supercoiling-dependent DNA transcription

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Dec 2017, accepted on 03 Apr 2018 and first published on 05 Apr 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02452E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
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    Non-equilibrium phase transition in a model for supercoiling-dependent DNA transcription

    A. Bentivoglio, M. Ancona, C. A. Brackley, G. Gonnella and D. Marenduzzo, Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02452E

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