TCB Publications - Abstract

B. Luan and A. Aksimentiev. DNA attraction in mono- and divalent electrolytes. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130:15754-15755, 2008.

LUAN2008B-AA The dependence of the effective force on the distance between two DNA molecules was directly computed from a set of extensive all-atom molecular dynamics simulations. The simulations revealed that in a monovalent electrolyte the effective force is repulsive at short and long distances but can be attractive in the intermediate range. This attractive force is, however, too weak ($\sim
$5 pN per turn of a DNA helix) to induce DNA condensation in the presence of thermal fluctuations. In divalent electrolytes, DNA molecules were observed to form a bound state, where Mg$^{2+}$ ions bridged minor groves of DNA. The effective force in divalent electrolytes was predominantly attractive, reaching a maximum of 42 pN per one turn of a DNA helix.

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