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Dynamical control of denaturation bubble nucleation in supercoiled DNA minicircles

Abstract : We examine the behavior of supercoiled DNA minicircles containing between 200 and 400 base-pairs, also named microDNA, in which supercoiling favors thermally assisted DNA denaturation bubbles of nanometer size and controls their lifetime. Mesoscopic modeling and accelerated dynamics simulations allow us to overcome the limitations of atomistic simulations encountered in such systems, and offer detailed insight into the thermodynamic and dynamical properties associated with the nucleation and closure mechanisms of long-lived thermally assisted denaturation bubbles which do not stem from bending-or torque-driven stress. Suitable tuning of the degree of supercoiling and size of specifically designed microDNA is observed to lead to the control of opening characteristic times in the millisecond range, and closure characteristic times ranging over well distinct timescales, from microseconds to several minutes. We discuss how our results can be seen as a dynamical bandwidth which might enhance selectivity for specific DNA binding proteins.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 11:14:39 AM
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François Sicard, Nicolas Destainville, Philippe Rousseau, Catherine Tardin, Manoel Manghi. Dynamical control of denaturation bubble nucleation in supercoiled DNA minicircles. Physical Review E , American Physical Society (APS), 2020, 101 (1), pp.012403. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.101.012403⟩. ⟨hal-02468189⟩

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