Structural transitions of a twisted and stretched DNA molecule

J. F. Léger, G. Romano, A. Sarkar, J. Robert, L. Bourdieu, D. Chatenay, J. F. Marko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

245 Scopus citations


We report results of a micromanipulation study of single double-helical DNA molecules at forces up to 150 pN. Depending on whether the DNA winding is allowed to relax, or held fixed, qualitatively different structural transitions are observed. By studying the transitions as a function of winding the different DNA structures underlying them are characterized; this allows us to report the first estimate of S-DNA helicity. A model is introduced to describe these transitions; in addition to B-DNA, we find that four DNA states are needed to describe the experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1066-1069
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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