Effects of torsional strain on thermal denaturation of DNA.


A class of simple statistical mechanical models for DNA melting, first proposed by Poland and Scheraga, has been demonstrated to exhibit a first or second order thermodynamic singularity, notwithstanding the intrinsic one-dimensional nature of the problem. In the present paper we consider the case of circular DNA and show that the inclusion of twist elastic energy in the Poland-Scheraga models leads either to suppression of the thermodynamic singularity or to a weak, third order singularity. Such behavior may also be present in linear DNA under mechanical influences that preclude the release of torsional strain.

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@article{Rudnick2002EffectsOT, title={Effects of torsional strain on thermal denaturation of DNA.}, author={Joseph Rudnick and Robijn F. Bruinsma}, journal={Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics}, year={2002}, volume={65 3 Pt 1}, pages={030902} }