Wrapping/unwrapping transition of double-stranded DNA in DNA-nanosphere complexes induced by multivalent anions

AH Chai and YW Jiang and YY Zhang and LL He and D Zhang and LX Zhang, SOFT MATTER, 10, 4875-4884 (2014).

DOI: 10.1039/c4sm00652f

Wrapping and unwrapping behaviors of double-stranded DNA around a positively charged nanosphere in solution are studied by using the coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) simulation method. When monovalent, divalent and trivalent anions are added to the DNA- nanosphere complex solution, double-stranded DNA binds with a nanosphere owing to strong electrostatic attraction. However, when tetravalent anions are added to the DNA-nanosphere complex solution, local charge inversion is observed for a high anion concentration of tetravalent anions and the double-stranded DNA can be unwrapped from the nanosphere because of the local charge inversion near the nanosphere. Moreover, the helical structure of DNA is damaged when double-stranded DNA wraps around the nanosphere and the helical structure can be rebuilt when the double-stranded DNA unwraps from the nanosphere. This study can help us understand how to control the release of DNA in DNA-nanosphere complexes.

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