Theoretical models for single-molecule DNA and RNA experiments: From elasticity to unzipping

Simona Cocco*, John F. Marko, Rémi Monasson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

We review statistical-mechanical theories of single-molecule micromanipulation experiments on nucleic acids. Firstly, models for describing polymer elasticity are introduced. We then review how these models are used to interpret single-molecule force-extension experiments on single-stranded and double-stranded DNA. Depending on the force and the molecules used, both smooth elastic behavior and abrupt structural transitions are observed. Thirdly, we show how combining the elasticity of two single nucleic acid strands with a description of the base-pairing interactions between them explains much of the phenomenology and kinetics of RNA and DNA 'unzipping' experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-584
Number of pages16
JournalComptes Rendus Physique
Volume3
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2002

Keywords

  • DNA
  • Micromanipulation
  • Polymer elasticity
  • RNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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