Chiral elasticity of DNA

Hujun Shen, Patrick J. Hricko, Coray M. Colina, Scott T. Milner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


DNA is a chiral semiflexible polymer, so its bending Hamiltonian may contain nonlinear terms coupling the curvature κ to the torsion τ, leading to an average torsion independent of curvature, with variance scaling as 1/κ2. We perform atomistic MD simulations of 31 base-pair DNA sequences with explicit solvent, in which thermal fluctuations cause the DNA to bend. We extract bending moduli by fitting to bending and torsional angle distributions. We find that chiral elasticity matters whenever DNA bends on a radius less than about 5 nm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10090-10094
Number of pages5
JournalSoft matter
Issue number39
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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