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The Dynamics of DNA Supercoiling: A Brownian Dynamics Study

[+] Author Affiliations
Ivenso Ikenna, Todd D. Lillian

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Paper No. DETC2015-47444, pp. V006T10A007; 8 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 11th International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5716-8
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Induced torsional stresses lead to an increase in the magnitude of torque sustained by double stranded DNA. There exists a critical magnitude of torque at which the DNA buckles signaling the beginning of the formation of a plectonemically supercoiled domain in the DNA. Further torsional deformation leads to an increase in the size of the supercoiled domain while the torque sustained by the DNA remains constant. The formation of the supercoiled domain also leads to a reduction in the end-to-end extension of the DNA starting with an abrupt reduction at the onset of buckling. Experiments have shown that this reduction in extension follows a linear trend. We investigate, by means of Brownian dynamics simulations, the extensional and torsional response of dsDNA to induced torsional stresses.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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