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Coarse-grained model DNA: structure, sequences, stems, circles, hairpins.

Authors
  • Edens, Lance E
  • Brozik, James A
  • Keller, David J
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Dec 27, 2012
Volume
116
Issue
51
Pages
14735–14743
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/jp3009095
PMID: 23157455
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A coarse-grained model for DNA that is intended to function realistically at the level of individual bases is reported. The model is composed of residues with up to eight coarse-grained beads each, which is sufficient for DNA-like base stacking and base-base recognition by hydrogen bonding. The beads interact by means of short-ranged pair potentials and a simple implicit solvent model. Movement is simulated by Brownian dynamics without hydrodynamic coupling. The main stabilizing forces are base stacking and hydrogen bonding, as modified by the effects of solvation. Complementary double-stranded chains of such residues form stable double helices over long runs (~10 μs) at or near room temperature, with structural parameters close to those of B-form DNA. Most mismatched chains or mismatched regions within a complementary molecule melt and become disordered. Long-range fluctuations and elastic properties, as measured by bending and twisting persistence lengths, are close to experimental values. Single-stranded chains are flexible, with transient stretches of free bases in equilibrium with globules stabilized by intrastrand stacking and hydrogen bonding. Model DNAs in covalently closed loops form right- or left-handed supercoils, depending on the sign of overtwist or undertwist. Short stem-loop structures melt at elevated temperatures and reanneal when the temperature is carefully lowered. Overall, most qualitative properties of real DNA arise naturally in the model from local interactions at the base-pair level.

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