Hairpins in the conformations of a confined polymer
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2018

If a semiflexible polymer confined to a narrow channel bends around by 180 degrees, the polymer is said to exhibit a hairpin. The equilibrium extension statistics of the confined polymer are well understood when hairpins are vanishingly rare or when they are plentiful. Here, we analyze the extension statistics in the intermediate situation via experiments with DNA coated by the protein RecA, which enhances the stiffness of the DNA molecule by approximately one order of magnitude. We find that the extension distribution is highly non-Gaussian, in good agreement with Monte-Carlo simulations of confined discrete wormlike chains. We develop a simple model that qualitatively explains the form of the extension distribution. The model shows that the tail of the distribution at short extensions is determined by conformations with one hairpin. (C) 2018 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license


E. Werner

Göteborgs universitet

A. Jain

University of Minnesota

A. Muralidhar

University of Minnesota

Karolin Frykholm

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Kemisk biologi

T. St Clere Smithe

Göteborgs universitet

Joachim Fritzsche

Chalmers, Fysik, Kemisk fysik

Fredrik Westerlund

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Kemisk biologi

K. D. Dorfman

University of Minnesota

B. Mehlig

Göteborgs universitet


1932-1058 (ISSN)

Vol. 12 2 024105


Nanovetenskap och nanoteknik


Fysikalisk kemi






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