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Kinky DNA in solution: Small angle scattering study of a nucleosome positioning sequence

Abstract : DNA is a flexible molecule, but the degree of its flexibility is subject to debate. The commonly-accepted persistence length of lp ≈ 500Å is inconsistent with recent studies on short-chain DNA that show much greater flexibility but do not probe its origin. We have performed X-ray and neutron small-angle scattering on a short DNA sequence containing a strong nucleosome positioning element, and analyzed the results using a modified Kratky-Porod model to determine possible conformations. Our results support a hypothesis from Crick and Klug in 1975 that some DNA sequences in solution can have sharp kinks, potentially resolving the discrepancy. Our conclusions are supported by measurements on a radiation-damaged sample, where single-strand breaks lead to increased flexibility and by an analysis of data from another sequence, which does not have kinks, but where our method can detect a locally enhanced flexibility due to an AT-domain.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 9:36:27 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - 3:16:09 PM
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Torben Schindler, Adrián González, Ramachandran Boopathi, Marta Marty Roda, Lorena Romero-Santacreu, et al.. Kinky DNA in solution: Small angle scattering study of a nucleosome positioning sequence. Physical Review E , American Physical Society (APS), 2018, 98 (4), ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.98.042417⟩. ⟨ensl-02433391⟩



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