Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Struct Biol. 1999 Apr;6(4):346-9.

Sequence-dependent mechanics of single DNA molecules.

Author information

  • 1Lehrstuhl für Angewandte Physik, München, Germany.


Atomic force microscope-based single-molecule force spectroscopy was employed to measure sequence-dependent mechanical properties of DNA by stretching individual DNA double strands attached between a gold surface and an AFM tip. We discovered that in lambda-phage DNA the previously reported B-S transition, where 'S' represents an overstretched conformation, at 65 pN is followed by a nonequilibrium melting transition at 150 pN. During this transition the DNA is split into single strands that fully recombine upon relaxation. The sequence dependence was investigated in comparative studies with poly(dG-dC) and poly(dA-dT) DNA. Both the B-S and the melting transition occur at significantly lower forces in poly(dA-dT) compared to poly(dG-dC). We made use of the melting transition to prepare single poly(dG-dC) and poly(dA-dT) DNA strands that upon relaxation reannealed into hairpins as a result of their self-complementary sequence. The unzipping of these hairpins directly revealed the base pair-unbinding forces for G-C to be 20 +/- 3 pN and for A-T to be 9 +/- 3 pN.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

Molecular Biology Databases

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk