Volume 144, Number 5, December 2023
|Number of page(s)
|Biological and soft matter physics
|20 December 2023
Detection of Hofmeister effects at a single-molecule level
1 College of Physics, Guizhou University - Guiyang 550025, China
2 Research Institute for Biomimetics and Soft Matter, Fujian Provincial Key Lab for Soft Functional Materials Research, Department of Physics, Xiamen University - Xiamen 361005, China
3 Guizhou Qiannan Economics College - Guiyang 550025, China
4 Kechuang Industrial Development Company Limited - Guian New Area, Guiyang 550025, China
Received: 10 October 2023
Accepted: 4 December 2023
Metal cations are essential for the function of nucleic acids. Given their efficiency for DNA overwinding and the DNA hairpin folding/unfolding process coupled with DNA twist, we systematically investigated the effects of cation identities and increasing concentrations of NaCl, KCl, and LiCl from 50 mM to 300 mM on the folding/unfolding process by manipulating a DNA hairpin construct with magnetic tweezers. The critical forces and free energy of the unfolding transition of the DNA hairpin at a fixed concentration of KCl, NaCl, and LiCl followed the same ranking as , and are reversed with the unfolding rate ranking of . This highlights that the addition of Li+ in solution obviously enhances the stability of the DNA hairpin when compared to Na+, and K+, and their efficiency on the stability of the DNA hairpin was ranked as .
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