Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1529/biophysj.106.095745
Title: Charge structure and counterion distribution in hexagonal DNA liquid crystal
Authors: Dai, L.
Mu, Y.
Nordenskiöld, L.
Lapp, A.
Van Der Maarel, J.R.C. 
Issue Date: Feb-2007
Citation: Dai, L., Mu, Y., Nordenskiöld, L., Lapp, A., Van Der Maarel, J.R.C. (2007-02). Charge structure and counterion distribution in hexagonal DNA liquid crystal. Biophysical Journal 92 (3) : 947-958. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1529/biophysj.106.095745
Abstract: A hexagonal liquid crystal of DNA fragments (double-stranded, 150 basepairs) with tetramethylammonium (TMA) counterions was investigated with small angle neutron scattering (SANS). We obtained the structure factors pertaining to the DNA and counterion density correlations with contrast matching in the water. Molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulation of a hexagonal assembly of nine DNA molecules showed that the inter-DNA distance fluctuates with a correlation time around 2 ns and a standard deviation of 8.5% of the interaxial spacing. The MD simulation also showed a minimal effect of the fluctuations in inter-DNA distance on the radial counterion density profile and significant penetration of the grooves by TMA. The radial density profile of the counterions was also obtained from a Monte Carlo (MC) computer simulation of a hexagonal array of charged rods with fixed interaxial spacing. Strong ordering of the counterions between the DNA molecules and the absence of charge fluctuations at longer wavelengths was shown by the SANS number and charge structure factors. The DNA-counterion and counterion structure factors are interpreted with the correlation functions derived from the Poisson-Boltzmann equation, MD, and MC simulation. Best agreement is observed between the experimental structure factors and the prediction based on the Poisson-Boltzmann equation and/or MC simulation. The SANS results show that TMA is too large to penetrate the grooves to a significant extent, in contrast to what is shown by MD simulation. © 2007 by the Biophysical Society.
Source Title: Biophysical Journal
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/95975
ISSN: 00063495
DOI: 10.1529/biophysj.106.095745
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