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Structural Rigidity of Paranemic Crossover and Juxtapose DNA Nanostructures

Santosh, Mogurampelly and Maiti, Prabal K (2011) Structural Rigidity of Paranemic Crossover and Juxtapose DNA Nanostructures. In: Biophysical Journal, 101 (6). pp. 1393-1402.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2011.08.007


Crossover motifs are integral components for designing DNA-based nanostructures and nanomechanical devices due to their enhanced rigidity compared to the normal B-DNA. Although the structural rigidity of the double helix B-DNA has been investigated extensively using both experimental and theoretical tools, to date there is no quantitative information about structural rigidity and the mechanical strength of parallel crossover DNA motifs. We have used fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent to get the force-extension curve of parallel DNA nanostructures to characterize their mechanical rigidity. In the presence of monovalent Na(+) ions, we find that the stretch modulus (gamma(1)) of the paranemic crossover and its topoisomer JX DNA structure is significantly higher (similar to 30%) compared to normal B-DNA of the same sequence and length. However, this is in contrast to the original expectation that these motifs are almost twice as rigid compared to the double-stranded B-DNA. When the DNA motif is surrounded by a solvent with Mg(2+) counterions, we find an enhanced rigidity compared to Na(+) environment due to the electrostatic screening effects arising from the divalent nature of Mg(2+) ions. To our knowledge, this is the first direct determination of the mechanical strength of these crossover motifs, which can be useful for the design of suitable DNA for DNA-based nanostructures and nanomechanical devices with improved structural rigidity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Biophysical Society.
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2011 10:19
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2011 10:19
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/41412

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