DNA, Circular


Circular DNA

Circular DNAs

DNAs, Circular

Any of the covalently closed DNA molecules found in bacteria, many viruses, mitochondria, plastids, and plasmids. Small, polydisperse circular DNA's have also been observed in a number of eukaryotic organisms and are suggested to have homology with chromosomal DNA and the capacity to be inserted into, and excised from, chromosomal DNA. It is a fragment of DNA formed by a process of looping out and deletion, containing a constant region of the mu heavy chain and the 3'-part of the mu switch region. Circular DNA is a normal product of rearrangement among gene segments encoding the variable regions of immunoglobulin light and heavy chains, as well as the T-cell receptor. (Riger et al., Glossary of Genetics, 5th ed & Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)