End-to-end attraction of duplex DNA.

Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1110 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 8.81). 01/2012; 40(9):3812-21. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkr1220
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent experiments [Nakata, M. et al., End-to-end stacking and liquid crystal condensation of 6 to 20 basepair DNA duplexes. Science 2007; 318:1276-1279] have demonstrated spontaneous end-to-end association of short duplex DNA fragments into long rod-like structures. By means of extensive all-atom molecular dynamic simulations, we characterized end-to-end interactions of duplex DNA, quantitatively describing the forces, free energy and kinetics of the end-to-end association process. We found short DNA duplexes to spontaneously aggregate end-to-end when axially aligned in a small volume of monovalent electrolyte. It was observed that electrostatic repulsion of 5'-phosphoryl groups promoted the formation of aggregates in a conformation similar to the B-form DNA double helix. Application of an external force revealed that rupture of the end-to-end assembly occurs by the shearing of the terminal base pairs. The standard binding free energy and the kinetic rates of end-to-end association and dissociation processes were estimated using two complementary methods: umbrella sampling simulations of two DNA fragments and direct observation of the aggregation process in a system containing 458 DNA fragments. We found the end-to-end force to be short range, attractive, hydrophobic and only weakly dependent on the ion concentration. The relation between the stacking free energy and end-to-end attraction is discussed as well as possible roles of the end-to-end interaction in biological and nanotechnological systems.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A class of replicable unnatural DNA base pairs formed between d5SICS and either dMMO2, dDMO, or dNaM were developed. To explore the use of these pairs to produce site-specifically labeled DNA, the synthesis of a variety of derivatives bearing propynyl groups, an analysis of their polymerase-mediated replication, and subsequent site-specific modification of the amplified DNA by Click chemistry is reported. With the d5SICS scaffold a propynyl ether linker is accommodated better than its aliphatic analogue, but not as well as the protected propargyl amine linker explored previously. It was also found that with the dMMO2 and dDMO analogues, the dMMO2 position para to the glycosidic linkage is best suited for linker attachment and that although aliphatic and ether-based linkers are similarly accommodated, the direct attachment of an ethynyl group to the nucleobase core is most well tolerated. To demonstrate the utility of these analogues, a variety of them were used to site-selectively attach a biotin tag to the amplified DNA. Finally, we use d5SICS(CO) -dNaM to couple one or two proteins to amplified DNA, with the double labeled product visualized by atomic force microscopy. The ability to encode the spatial relationships of arrayed molecules in PCR amplifiable DNA should have important applications, ranging from SELEX with functionalities not naturally present in DNA to the production, and perhaps "evolution" of nanomaterials.
    Chemistry - A European Journal 09/2013; · 5.93 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Understanding how DNA molecules interact with other biomolecules is related to how they utilize their functions and is therefore critical for understanding their structure-function relationships. For a long time, the existence of Z-form DNA (a left-handed double helical version of DNA, instead of the common right-handed B-form) has puzzled the scientists, and the definitive biological significance of Z-DNA has not yet been clarified. In this study, the effects of DNA conformation in DNA-DNA interactions are explored by molecular dynamics simulations. Using umbrella sampling, we find that for both B- and Z-form DNA, surrounding Mg(2+) ions always exert themselves to screen the Coulomb repulsion between DNA phosphates, resulting in very weak attractive force. On the contrary, a tight and stable bound state is discovered for Z-DNA in the presence of Mg(2+) or Na(+), benefiting from their hydrophobic nature. Based on the contact surface and a dewetting process analysis, a two-stage binding process of Z-DNA is outlined: two Z-DNA first attract each other through charge screening and Mg(2+) bridges to phosphate groups in the same way as that of B-DNA, after which hydrophobic contacts of the deoxyribose groups are formed via a dewetting effect, resulting in stable attraction between two Z-DNA molecules. The highlighted hydrophobic nature of Z-DNA interaction from the current study may help to understand the biological functions of Z-DNA in gene transcription.
    Nanoscale 05/2014; · 6.74 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Running Title: MD of H4 Histone Tail – DNA InteractionsThe positively charged N-terminal histone tails, play a crucial role in chromatin compaction, and are important modulators of DNA transcription, recombination and repair. The detailed mechanism of the interaction of histone tails with DNA remains elusive. To model the unspecific interaction of histone tails with DNA, all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were carried out for systems of four DNA 22-mers in the presence of 20 or 16 short fragments of the H4 histone tail (variations of the 16-23 a. a. KRHRKVLR sequence, as well as the unmodified fragment a. a.13-20, GGAKRHRK). This setup with high DNA concentration, explicit presence of DNA-DNA contacts, presence of unstructured cationic peptides (histone tails, and K+, mimics the conditions of eukaryotic chromatin. A detailed account of the DNA interactions with the histone tail fragments, K+ and water is presented. Furthermore, DNA structure and dynamics and its interplay with the histone tail fragments binding are analysed. The charged side chains of the lysines and arginines play major roles in the tail-mediated DNA-DNA attraction by forming bridges and by coordinating to the phosphate groups and to the electronegative sites in the minor groove. Binding of all species to DNA is dynamic. The structure of the unmodified fully-charged H4 16-23 a.a. fragment KRHRKVLR is dominated by a stretched conformation. The H4 tail a. a. fragment GGAKRHRK as well as the H4 Lys16 acetylated fragment are highly flexible. The present work allows capturing typical features of the histone tail-counterion-DNA structure, interaction and dynamics.
    Biopolymers 04/2014; · 2.29 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 6, 2014

Similar Publications