Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1109824109
Title: Two distinct overstretched DNA structures revealed by single-molecule thermodynamics measurements
Authors: Zhang, X.
Chen, H. 
Fu, H. 
Doyle, P.S.
Yan, J. 
Keywords: B-to-S transition
Entropy and enthalpy
S-DNA
ssDNA
Issue Date: 22-May-2012
Citation: Zhang, X., Chen, H., Fu, H., Doyle, P.S., Yan, J. (2012-05-22). Two distinct overstretched DNA structures revealed by single-molecule thermodynamics measurements. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109 (21) : 8103-8108. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1109824109
Abstract: Double-stranded DNA is a dynamic molecule whose structure can change depending on conditions. While there is consensus in the literature about many structures DNA can have, the state of highlystretched DNA is still not clear. Several groups have shown that DNA in the torsion-unconstrained B-form undergoes an "overstretching"transition at a stretching force of around 65 pN, which leads to approximately 1.7-fold elongation of the DNA contour length. Recent experiments have revealed that two distinct structural transitions are involved in the overstretching process: (i) a hysteretic "peeling" off one strand from its complementary strand, and (ii) a nonhysteretic transition that leads to an undetermined DNA structure. We report the first simultaneous determination of the entropy (ΔS) and enthalpy changes (ΔH) pertaining to these respective transitions. For the hysteretic peeling transition, we determined ΔS ∼ 20 cal/(K:mol) and ΔH ∼ 7 kcal/mol. In the case of the nonhysteretic transition, ΔS ∼ -3 cal/(K:mol) and ΔH ∼ 1 kcal/mol. Furthermore, the response of the transition force to salt concentration implies that the two DNA strands are spatially separated after the hysteretic peeling transition. In contrast, the corresponding response after the nonhysteretic transition indicated that the strands remained in close proximity. The selection between the two transitions depends on DNA base-pair stability, and it can be illustrated by a multidimensional phase diagram. Our results provide important insights into the thermodynamics of DNA overstretching and conformational structures of overstretched DNA that may play an important role in vivo.
Source Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/113136
ISSN: 00278424
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1109824109
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