DNA Bending

March 14, 2011
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Halligan 127


To analyze various issues related with DNA bending we need a theoretical model which provides accurate description of the phenomenon. The great majority of DNA macroscopic conformational properties are well described by a very simple model, the homogeneous wormlike chain. However, for some important problems related to DNA-protein interaction we need more detailed information about DNA bending properties. Over the last few years we were able to address experimentally some of the major questions related to this issue. We studied intrinsic bends in the double helix, the sequence dependence of DNA bending rigidity, and formation of kinks in the double helix under bending deformation. We discuss what these results mean for DNA interaction with proteins which bind the double helix with low sequence specificity.