Disappearance of the negative charge in giant DNA with a folding transition.

Abstract

In the present study we measure the electrophoretic mobility of giant T4 DNA (166 kbp) by electrophoretic light scattering for the elongated and folded compact states at different spermidine (trivalent cation) concentrations in 50 mM sodium maleate buffer (pH 6.0). It is found that the electrophoretic mobility of elongated DNA in the absence of the multivalent cation is seven times greater than that of fully folded compact DNA, where, with the increase of the concentration of spermidine, an abrupt transition is generated after a gradual decrease of the mobility. An analysis of the electrophoretic mobility suggests that the folded compact DNA chains almost completely lose their negative charges, by taking into account the difference of friction mechanism between an elongated and folded compact state. From the single chain observation by use of fluorescence microscopy, it is found that a phase-segregated structure is generated at intermediate concentrations of spermidine. The gradual decrease of the electrophoretic mobility in the transition region is, thus, attributed to the formation of the segregated state, exhibiting partial electroneutralization in the folded part. Disappearance of the negative charges in the completely folded compact DNAs is discussed in relation to the mechanism of transition, in terms of a first-order phase transition.

Cite this paper

@article{Yamasaki2001DisappearanceOT, title={Disappearance of the negative charge in giant DNA with a folding transition.}, author={Yoru Yamasaki and Yoshikuni Teramoto and Kenichi Yoshikawa}, journal={Biophysical journal}, year={2001}, volume={80 6}, pages={2823-32} }