DNA attraction in monovalent and divalent electrolytes

Binquan Luan, Aleksei Aksimentiev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The dependence of the effective force on the distance between two DNA molecules was directly computed from a set of extensive all-atom molecular dynamics simulations. The simulations revealed that in a monovalent electrolyte the effective force is repulsive at short and long distances but can be attractive in the intermediate range. This attractive force is, however, too weak (∼5 pN per turn of a DNA helix) to induce DNA condensation in the presence of thermal fluctuations. In divalent electrolytes, DNA molecules were observed to form a bound state, where Mg2+ ions bridged minor groves of DNA. The effective force in divalent electrolytes was predominantly attractive, reaching a maximum of 42 pN per one turn of a DNA helix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15754-15755
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume130
Issue number47
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 26 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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