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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 May 6;94(17):178101. Epub 2005 May 2.

Exons, introns, and DNA thermodynamics.

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  • 1Interdisciplinary Research Institute c/o IEMN, Cité Scientifique, BP 60069, F-59652 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.


The genes of eukaryotes are characterized by protein coding fragments, the exons, interrupted by introns, i.e., stretches of DNA which do not carry useful information for protein synthesis. We have analyzed the melting behavior of randomly selected human cDNA sequences obtained from genomic DNA by removing all introns. A clear correspondence is observed between exons and melting domains. This finding may provide new insights into the physical mechanisms underlying the evolution of genes.

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