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Journal Article

Condensation of DNA-actin polyelectrolyte mixtures driven by ions of different valences


Golestanian,  R.       
Department of Living Matter Physics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Zribi, O. V., Kyung, H., Golestanian, R., Liverpool, T. B., & Wong, G. C. L. (2006). Condensation of DNA-actin polyelectrolyte mixtures driven by ions of different valences. Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, 73(3): 031911. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.73.031911.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-A701-1
Multivalent ions can induce condensation of like-charged polyelectrolytes into compact states, a process that requires different ion valences for different polyelectrolyte species. In this work we examine the condensation behavior in binary anionic polyelectrolyte mixtures consisting of DNA coils and F-actin rods in the presence of monovalent, divalent, and trivalent ions. As expected, monovalent ions do not condense either component and divalent ions selectively condense F-actin rods out of the polyelectrolyte mixture. For trivalent ions, however, we observe a microphase separation between the two polyelectrolytes into coexisting finite-sized F-actin bundles and DNA toroids. Further, by increasing the DNA volume fraction in the mixture, condensed F-actin bundles can be completely destabilized, leading to only DNA condensation within the mixture. We examine a number of possible causes and propose a model based on polyelectrolyte competition for ions. © 2006 The American Physical Society.