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Atomic-Level Simulations of Seeman DNA Nanostructures: The Paranemic Crossover in Salt Solution

Maiti, Prabal K and Pascal, Tod A and Vaidehi, Nagarajan and Heo, Jiyoung and Goddard, William A (2006) Atomic-Level Simulations of Seeman DNA Nanostructures: The Paranemic Crossover in Salt Solution. In: Biophysical Journal, 90 (5). pp. 1463-1479.

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We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to understand the structure and stability of various paranemic crossover (PX) DNA molecules, synthesized recently by Seeman and co-workers at New York University. These studies include all atoms of the PX structures with an explicit description of solvent and ions. The average dynamics structures over the last 1 ns of the 3-ns simulation preserve the Watson-Crick hydrogen bonding as well as the helical structure. The root mean-square deviation in coordinates with respect to the MD averaged structure converges to 2–3 Å for PX55, PX65, and PX85, but for PX75 and PX95 the root mean-square deviation in coordinates exhibits large fluctuations, indicating an intrinsic instability. The PX structures are structurally more rigid compared to the canonical B-DNA without crossover. We have developed a strain energy analysis method based on the nearest-neighbor interaction and computed the strain energy for the PX molecules compared to the B-DNA molecules of the same length and sequence. PX65 has the lowest calculated strain energy (~–0.77 kcal/mol/bp), and the strain increases dramatically for PX75, PX85, and PX95. PX55 has the highest strain energy (~1.85 kcal/mol/bp) making it unstable, which is in accordance with the experimental results. We find that PX65 has helical twist and other helical structural parameters close to the values for normal B-DNA of similar length and sequence. Vibrational mode analysis shows that compared to other PX motifs, PX65 has the smallest population of the low-frequency modes that are dominant contributors for the conformational entropy of the PX DNA structures. All these results indicate that PX65 is structurally more stable compared to other PX motifs, in agreement with experiments. These results should aid in designing optimized DNA structures for use in nanoscale components and devices.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyrights of the article belongs to Biophysical Society.
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Girish Kumar N
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:28
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/7277

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