|Title||Time study of DNA condensate morphology: implications regarding the nucleation, growth, and equilibrium populations of toroids and rods.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Vilfan, ID, Conwell, CC, Sarkar, T, Hud, NV|
|Date Published||2006 Jul 4|
|Keywords||Base Sequence, DNA, DNA Replication, Indicators and Reagents, Kinetics, Microscopy, Electron, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Nucleic Acid Conformation, Thermodynamics|
It is well known that multivalent cations cause free DNA in solution to condense into nanometer-scale particles with toroidal and rod-like morphologies. However, it has not been shown to what degree kinetic factors (e.g., condensate nucleation) versus thermodynamic factors (e.g., DNA bending energy) determine experimentally observed relative populations of toroids and rods. It is also not clear how multimolecular DNA toroids and rods interconvert in solution. We have conducted a series of condensation studies in which DNA condensate morphology statistics were measured as a function of time and DNA structure. Here, we show that in a typical in vitro DNA condensation reaction, the relative rod population 2 min after the initiation of condensation is substantially greater than that measured after morphological equilibrium is reached (ca. 20 min). This higher population of rods at earlier time points is consistent with theoretical studies that have suggested a favorable kinetic pathway for rod nucleation. By using static DNA loops to alter the kinetics and thermodynamics of condensation, we further demonstrate that reported increases in rod populations associated with decreasing DNA length are primarily due to a change in the thermodynamics of DNA condensation, rather than a change in the kinetics of condensate nucleation or growth. The results presented also reveal that the redistribution of DNA from rods to toroids is mediated through the exchange of DNA strands with solution.
|Grant List||GM62873 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States|