Fluctuations and supercoiling of DNA

John F. Marko*, Eric D. Siggia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

178 Scopus citations

Abstract

Frequently, DNA in vivo is organized into loops that are partially underwound and consequently form interwound helical supercoils. Methods from polymer statistical mechanics are used to show how the competition between entropy (thermal fluctuations) and elastic energy determines supercoil radius and pitch, in good agreement with recent experiments and simulations. Supercoil reorganization by means of slithering (reptation) of the DNA along the supercoil is argued to be a stow process. Extension of supercoiled DNA by an applied force shows a number of unexpected features, including coexistence of interwound and helical states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-508
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume265
Issue number5171
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Fluctuations and supercoiling of DNA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this