Observation of coherent delocalized phonon-like modes in DNA under physiological conditions

Mario González-Jiménez, Gopakumar Ramakrishnan, Thomas Harwood, Adrian J. Lapthorn, Sharon M. Kelly, Elizabeth M. Ellis, Klaas Wynne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Underdamped terahertz-frequency delocalized phonon-like modes have long been suggested to play a role in the biological function of DNA. Such phonon modes involve the collective motion of many atoms and are prerequisite to understanding the molecular nature of macroscopic conformational changes and related biochemical phenomena. Initial predictions were based on simple theoretical models of DNA. However, such models do not take into account strong interactions with the surrounding water, which is likely to cause phonon modes to be heavily damped and localized. Here we apply state-of-the-art femtosecond optical Kerr effect spectroscopy, which is currently the only technique capable of taking low-frequency (GHz to THz) vibrational spectra in solution. We are able to demonstrate that phonon modes involving the hydrogen bond network between the strands exist in DNA at physiologically relevant conditions. In addition, the dynamics of the solvating water molecules is slowed down by about a factor of 20 compared with the bulk.

LanguageEnglish
Article number11799
Pages1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Fingerprint

Phonons
deoxyribonucleic acid
Observation
DNA
Optical Kerr effect
Biochemical Phenomena
Water
Vibrational spectra
Hydrogen bonds
Kerr effects
Spectroscopy
strands
vibrational spectra
water
Hydrogen
Spectrum Analysis
Atoms
Molecules
Theoretical Models
hydrogen bonds

Keywords

  • physical sciences
  • biophysics
  • physical chemistry
  • molecular biology

Cite this

González-Jiménez, M., Ramakrishnan, G., Harwood, T., Lapthorn, A. J., Kelly, S. M., Ellis, E. M., & Wynne, K. (2016). Observation of coherent delocalized phonon-like modes in DNA under physiological conditions. Nature Communications, 7, 1-6. [11799]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11799
González-Jiménez, Mario ; Ramakrishnan, Gopakumar ; Harwood, Thomas ; Lapthorn, Adrian J. ; Kelly, Sharon M. ; Ellis, Elizabeth M. ; Wynne, Klaas. / Observation of coherent delocalized phonon-like modes in DNA under physiological conditions. In: Nature Communications. 2016 ; Vol. 7. pp. 1-6.
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González-Jiménez, M, Ramakrishnan, G, Harwood, T, Lapthorn, AJ, Kelly, SM, Ellis, EM & Wynne, K 2016, 'Observation of coherent delocalized phonon-like modes in DNA under physiological conditions' Nature Communications, vol. 7, 11799, pp. 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11799

Observation of coherent delocalized phonon-like modes in DNA under physiological conditions. / González-Jiménez, Mario; Ramakrishnan, Gopakumar; Harwood, Thomas; Lapthorn, Adrian J.; Kelly, Sharon M.; Ellis, Elizabeth M.; Wynne, Klaas.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 7, 11799, 01.06.2016, p. 1-6.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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González-Jiménez M, Ramakrishnan G, Harwood T, Lapthorn AJ, Kelly SM, Ellis EM et al. Observation of coherent delocalized phonon-like modes in DNA under physiological conditions. Nature Communications. 2016 Jun 1;7:1-6. 11799. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11799