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Temperature dependence of DNA persistence length

Geggier, Stephanie, Kotlyar, Alexander, Vologodskii, Alexander
Nucleic acids research 2011 v.39 no.4 pp. 1419-1426
DNA fragmentation, chemical elements, circular DNA, equations, temperature, variance
We have determined the temperature dependence of DNA persistence length, a, using two different methods. The first approach was based on measuring the j-factors of short DNA fragments at various temperatures. Fitting the measured j-factors by the theoretical equation allowed us to obtain the values of a for temperatures between 5°C and 42°C. The second approach was based on measuring the equilibrium distribution of the linking number between the strands of circular DNA at different temperatures. The major contribution into the distribution variance comes from the fluctuations of DNA writhe in the nicked circular molecules which are specified by the value of a. The computation-based analysis of the measured variances was used to obtain the values of a for temperatures up to 60°C. We found a good agreement between the results obtained by these two methods. Our data show that DNA persistence length strongly depends on temperature and accounting for this dependence is important in quantitative comparison between experimental results obtained at different temperatures.