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Crystals 2019, 9(3), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9030162

Liquid-Crystalline Dispersions of Double-Stranded DNA

1
Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilova, St. 32, Moscow 119991, Russia
2
National Research Centre “Kurchatov Institute”, Kurchatova Sq. 1, Moscow 123182, Russia
3
Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician Semenov Ave. 1a, Chernogolovka, Moscow Region 142432, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this manuscript.
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 17 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cholesteric Liquid Crystals)
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Abstract

In this review, we compare the circular dichroism (CD) spectra of liquid-crystalline dispersion (LCD) particles formed in PEG-containing aqueous-salt solutions with the purpose of determining the packing of ds DNA molecules in these particles. Depending on the osmotic pressure of the solution, the phase exclusion of ds DNA molecules at room temperature results in the formation of LCD particles with the cholesteric or the hexagonal packing of molecules. The heating of dispersion particles with the hexagonal packing of the ds DNA molecules results in a new phase transition, accompanied by an appearance of a new optically active phase of ds DNA molecules. Our results are rationalized by way of a concept of orientationally ordered “quasinematic” layers formed by ds DNA molecules, with a parallel alignment in the hexagonal structure. These layers can adopt a twisted configuration with a temperature increase; and as a result of this process, a new, helicoidal structure of dispersion particle is formed (termed as the “re-entrant” cholesteric phase). To prove the cholesteric pattern of ds DNA molecules in this phase, the “liquid-like” state of the dispersion particles was transformed into its “rigid” counterpart. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid-crystalline dispersions of DNA; cholesteric and hexagonal packing of DNA; theoretically calculated and experimental circular dichroism spectra; textures of the DNA liquid-crystalline phases; “re-entrant” cholesteric phase of DNA; anthracyclines drugs; chelate complexes; nanobridges; “rigid” particles of DNA liquid-crystalline dispersions of DNA; cholesteric and hexagonal packing of DNA; theoretically calculated and experimental circular dichroism spectra; textures of the DNA liquid-crystalline phases; “re-entrant” cholesteric phase of DNA; anthracyclines drugs; chelate complexes; nanobridges; “rigid” particles of DNA
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Yevdokimov, Y.; Skuridin, S.; Salyanov, V.; Semenov, S.; Kats, E. Liquid-Crystalline Dispersions of Double-Stranded DNA. Crystals 2019, 9, 162.

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