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Methods Enzymol. 2001;340:3-22.

Analysis and interpretation of ligand-DNA binding isotherms.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi 39216, USA.


Binding studies provide information of fundamental and central importance for the complete understanding of ligand-DNA interactions. Studies of ligand binding to long natural DNA samples, to synthetic deoxypolynucleotides of simple repeating sequence, and to oligonucleotides of defined sequence are all needed to begin to understand the interaction in detail. Binding studies provide entry into the thermodynamics of the DNA interactions, which in turn provides great insight into the molecular forces that drive the binding process. This chapter summarizes both model-dependent and -independent approaches for the analysis and interpretation of binding isotherms, and should serve as a concise guide for handling experimental data.

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