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Trehalose facilitates DNA melting: a single-molecule optical tweezers study.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Soft Matter
1744-6848
Publisher
The Royal Society of Chemistry
Publication Date
Volume
10
Issue
37
Pages
7269–7277
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1039/c4sm01532k
PMID: 25096217
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Using optical tweezers, here we show that the overstretching transition force of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) is lowered significantly by the addition of the disaccharide trehalose as well as certain polyol osmolytes. This effect is found to depend linearly on the logarithm of the trehalose concentration. We propose an entropic driving mechanism for the experimentally observed destabilization of dsDNA that is rooted in the higher affinity of the DNA bases for trehalose than for water, which promotes base exposure and DNA melting. Molecular dynamics simulation reveals the direct interaction of trehalose with nucleobases. Experiments with other osmolytes confirm that the extent of dsDNA destabilization is governed by the ratio between polar and apolar fractions of an osmolyte.

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