On the electrostatics of DNA in chromatin

Klemen Bohinc, Leo Lue

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Abstract

We examine the interaction between DNA molecules immersed in an aqueous solution of oppositely charged, trivalent spermidine molecules. The DNA molecules are modeled as planar, likecharged surfaces immersed in an aqueous solution of multivalent, rod-like ions consisting of rigidly bonded point charges. An approximate field theory is used to determine the properties of this system from the weak to the intermediate through to the strong coupling regimes. In the weak coupling limit, the interaction between the charged surfaces is only repulsive, whereas in the intermediate coupling regime, the rod-like ions with spatial charge distribution can induce attractive force between the charged surfaces. In the strong coupling limit, the inter-ionic charge correlations induce attractive interaction at short separations between the surfaces. This theoretical study can give new insights in the problem of interaction between DNA molecules mediated by trivalent spermidine molecules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalAIMS Biophysics
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2016

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Keywords

  • electrostatics
  • field theory
  • DNA
  • multivalent ions
  • chromatin

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