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An unusual electrooptical effect observed for DNA fragments and its apparent relation to a permanent electric moment associated with bent DNA.

MPG-Autoren
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Antosiewicz,  J.
Abteilung Biochemische Kinetik, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Porschke,  D.
Abteilung Biochemische Kinetik, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Antosiewicz, J., & Porschke, D. (1989). An unusual electrooptical effect observed for DNA fragments and its apparent relation to a permanent electric moment associated with bent DNA. Biophysical Chemistry, 33(1), 19-30. doi:10.1016/0301-4622(89)80003-1.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-5EE8-B
Zusammenfassung
Dichroism decay curves of DNA fragments with chain lengths in the range of 179–256 bp show an amplitude inversion suggesting the existence of a positive dichroism component, when these fragments are dissolved at monovalent salt concentrations above approx. 5 mM and are exposed to field pulses with amplitudes and/or lengths above critical values. At the critical values, the unusual dichroism is reflected by an apparent acceleration of the decay curves, which can be fitted by single exponentials with time constants much below the values expected from the DNA contour lengths. The critical pulse amplitudes and lengths decrease with increasing DNA chain length and increasing salt concentration. The experimental data are consistent with results obtained by hydrodynamic and electric model calculations on smoothly bent DNA double helices. The DNA is represented by a string of overlapping beads, which is used to calculate the rotational diffusion tensor and the center of diffusion. The distribution of phosphate charges is asymmetric with respect to this center and thus gives rise to a substantial permanent dipole moment. The magnitude of this dipole moment is calculated as a function of DNA curvature and is used together with experimental values of polarizabilities for simulations of dichroism decay curves. The curves simulated for bent DNA show the same phenomenon as observed experimentally. The ionic strength dependence of the unusual dichroism is explained by an independently observed strong decrease of the polarizability with increasing salt concentration. The field strength dependence is probably due to field-induced bending of double helices driven by the change of the dipole moment. Although our calculations are on rigid models of DNA and thus any flexibility of the double helix has not been considered, we conclude that the essential part of our experimental results can be explained by our model.