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Journal Article

Diffusion and electrophoretic mobility of single-stranded RNA from molecular dynamics simulations

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Yeh, I.-C., & Hummer, G. (2004). Diffusion and electrophoretic mobility of single-stranded RNA from molecular dynamics simulations. Biophysical Journal (Annual Meeting Abstracts), 86(2), 681-689. doi:10.1016/S0006-3495(04)74147-8.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-DC16-8
Hydrodynamic properties of small single-stranded RNA homopolymers with three and six nucleotides in free solution are determined from molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent. We find that the electrophoretic mobility increases with increasing RNA length, consistent with experiment. Diffusion coefficients of RNA, corrected for finite-size effects and solvent viscosity, agree well with those estimated from experiments and hydrodynamic calculations. The diffusion coefficients and electrophoretic mobilities satisfy a Nernst-Einstein relation in which the effective charge of RNA is reduced by the charge of transiently bound counterions. Fluctuations in the counterion atmosphere are shown to enhance the diffusive spread of RNA molecules drifting along the direction of the external electric field. As a consequence, apparent diffusion coefficients measured by capillary zone electrophoresis can be significantly larger than the actual values at certain experimental conditions.