Direct measurements of base stacking interactions in DNA by single-molecule atomic-force spectroscopy.
We investigate the elasticity of two types of single-stranded synthetic DNA homopolydeoxynucletides, poly(dA) and poly(dT), by AFM-based single-molecule force spectroscopy. We find that poly(dT) exhibits the expected entropic elasticity behavior, while poly(dA) unexpectedly displays two overstretching transitions in the force-extension relationship. We suggest that these transitions, which occur at approximately 23 pN and approximately 113 pN, directly capture, for the first time, the mechanical signature of base-stacking interactions among adenines in DNA, in the absence of base pairing.
Ke, C; Humeniuk, M; S-Gracz, H; Marszalek, PE
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