TCB Publications - Abstract

Christopher Maffeo, Robert Schöpflin, Hergen Brutzer, René Stehr, Aleksei Aksimentiev, Gero Wedemann, and Ralf Seidel. DNA-DNA interactions in tight supercoils are described by a small effective charge density. Physical Review Letters, 105:158101, 2010. (PMC: PMC3170404)

MAFF2010B-AA DNA-DNA interactions are important for genome compaction and transcription regulation. In studies of such complex processes, DNA is often modeled as a homogeneously charged cylinder and its electrostatic interactions are calculated within the framework of the Poisson-Boltzmann equation. Commonly, a charge adaptation factor is used to address limitations of this theoretical approach. Despite considerable theoretical and experimental efforts, a rigorous quantitative assessment of this parameter is lacking. Here, we comprehensively characterized DNA-DNA interactions in the presence of monovalent ions by analyzing the supercoiling behavior of single DNA molecules held under constant tension. Both a theoretical model and coarse-grained simulations of this process revealed a surprisingly small effective DNA charge of 40

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