Annealed random copolymer model of the B-Z transition in DNA: Torsional responses

Ah Young Kwon, Nam Kyung Lee, Seok Cheol Hong, Julien Fierling, Albert Johner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Both in vivo and in vitro, specific sequences in double-stranded DNA can adopt the left-handed Z-form when underwound. Recently, the B-Z transition of DNA has been studied in detail in magnetic tweezers experiments by several groups. We present a theoretical description of this transition, based on an annealed random copolymer model. The transition of a switchable sequence is discussed as a function of energetic and geometric parameters of the B- and Z-forms, of the applied boundary conditions, and of the characteristics of the B-Z interface. We address a possible torsional softening upon the B-Z transition. The model can be also applied to other biofilaments with annealed torsional/flexural degrees of freedom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2562-2572
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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