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DNA Compaction by a Dendrimer

Nandy, Bidisha and Maiti, Prahal K (2011) DNA Compaction by a Dendrimer. In: Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 115 (2). pp. 217-230.

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Official URL: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp106776v


At physiological pH, a PAMAM dendrimer is positively charged and can effectively bind negatively charged DNA. Currently, there has been great interest in understanding this complexation reaction both for fundamental (as a model for complex biological reactions) as well as for practical (as a gene delivery material and probe for sensing DNA sequence) reasons. Here, we have studied the complexation between double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) and various generations of PAMAM dendrimers (G3-05) through atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in the presence of water and ions. We report the compaction of DNA on a nanosecond time scale. This is remarkable, given the fact that such a short DNA duplex with a length close to 13 nm is otherwise thought to be a rigid rod. Using several nanoseconds long MD simulations, we have observed various binding modes of dsDNA and dendrimers for various generations of PAMAM dendrimers at varying charge ratios, and it confirms some of the binding modes proposed earlier. The binding is driven by the electrostatic interaction, and the larger the dendrimer charge, the stronger the binding affinity. As DNA wraps/binds to the dendrimer, counterions originally condensed onto DNA (Na+) and the dendrimer (Cl-) get released. We calculate the entropy of counterions and show that there is gain in entropy due to counterion release during the complexation. MD simulations demonstrate that, when the charge ratio is greater than 1 (as in the case of the G5 dendrimer), the optimal wrapping of DNA is observed. Calculated binding energies of the complexation follow the trend G5 > 04 > 03, in accordance with the experimental data. For a lower-generation dendrimer, such as G3, and, to some extent, for G4 also, we see considerable deformation in the dendrimer structure due to their flexible nature. We have also calculated the various helicoidal parameters of DNA to study the effect of dendrimer binding on the structure of DNA. The B form of the DNA is well preserved in the complex, as is evident from various helical parameters, justifying the use of the PAMAM dendrimer as a suitable delivery vehicle.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to American Chemical Society.
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2011 12:37
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2011 12:37
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/35807

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