Volume 68, Number 4, November 2004
|Page(s)||536 - 542|
|Section||Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties|
|Published online||20 October 2004|
All-or-none (or something in between) transition of DNA
Physical Chemistry 1, Center for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Lund University - P.O. Box 124, S-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Accepted: 29 September 2004
DNA compaction can be caused by multivalent ions as condensing agents. Both discontinuous (all-or-none) and continuous (pearl-necklace structure) transitions have been observed in experiments as the concentration of the condensing agent was increased. We have investigated the DNA transition by analytical calculations in the infinite-chain limit. A mechanism for pearl-necklace structures could be a combinatorial entropy term, which favours a mixture of globules and coils in a single chain. However, when a surface term is taken into account, it gives rise to a discontinuous transition. We also consider the role of surface charges on the globule.
PACS: 61.25.Hq – Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling
© EDP Sciences, 2004
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