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Polymers 2017, 9(2), 74; doi:10.3390/polym9020074

Theoretical Methods for Studying DNA Structural Transitions under Applied Mechanical Constraints

1
Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117411, Singapore
2
Centre for Bioimaging Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117557, Singapore
3
Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117551, Singapore
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiflexible Polymers)
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Abstract

Recent progress in single-molecule manipulation technologies has made it possible to exert force and torque on individual DNA biopolymers to probe their mechanical stability and interaction with various DNA-binding proteins. It was revealed in these experiments that the DNA structure and formation of nucleoprotein complexes by DNA-architectural proteins can be strongly modulated by an intricate interplay between the entropic elasticity of DNA and its global topology, which is closely related to the mechanical constraints applied to the DNA. Detailed understanding of the physical processes underlying the DNA behavior observed in single-molecule experiments requires the development of a general theoretical framework, which turned out to be a rather challenging task. Here, we review recent advances in theoretical methods that can be used to interpret single-molecule manipulation experiments on DNA. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA; phase transition; equilibrium thermodynamics; force-spectroscopy DNA; phase transition; equilibrium thermodynamics; force-spectroscopy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Efremov, A.K.; Winardhi, R.S.; Yan, J. Theoretical Methods for Studying DNA Structural Transitions under Applied Mechanical Constraints. Polymers 2017, 9, 74.

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