Volume 108, Number 1, October 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||03 October 2014|
Small-angle scattering as a tool to study the thermal denaturation of DNA
1 Bragg Institute, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation - New Illawarra Road, Lucas Heights NSW, Australia
2 Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire de la Cellule, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, UMR CNRS/ENS 5239 46 allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France
3 Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, National Hellenic Research Foundation Vasileos Constantinou 48, 116 35 Athens, Greece
4 Fachbereich Physik, Universität Konstanz - 78457 Konstanz, Germany
5 Laboratoire de Physique, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon - 46 allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France
Received: 26 July 2014
Accepted: 15 September 2014
DNA thermal denaturation is the breaking of the base pairs, leading to a splitting of the two strands of the double helix. While it is easy to measure the fraction of open base pairs vs. temperature, determining the fraction of fully open molecules is much harder. Previously, the simultaneous recording of f and p could only be achieved for special sequences. We show that small-angle scattering of X-rays or neutrons allows the measurement of p for any sequence. We illustrate the method with a SAXS investigation of two sequences designed to exhibit different melting profiles and compare the SAXS data with nano-calorimetric measurements of the melting curve.
PACS: 87.15.-v – Biomolecules: structure and physical properties / 61.05.cf – X-ray scattering (including small-angle scattering) / 61.05.fg – Neutron scattering (including small-angle scattering)
© EPLA, 2014
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