Chapter

DNA Conformation and Transcription

Part of the series Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit pp 18-34

Sequence-Dependent Variability of B-DNA

An Update on Bending and Curvature
  • Victor B. ZhurkinAffiliated withLaboratory of Experimental and Computational Biology, National Cancer Institute, NIH
  • , Michael Y. TolstorukovAffiliated withLaboratory of Experimental and Computational Biology, National Cancer Institute, NIH
  • , Fei XuAffiliated withWright-Rieman Laboratories, Rutgers University
  • , Andrew V. ColasantiAffiliated withWright-Rieman Laboratories, Rutgers University
  • , Wilma K. OlsonAffiliated withWright-Rieman Laboratories, Rutgers University

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

DNA bending is universal in biology—both the storage and the retrieval of information encoded in the base-pair sequence require significant deformations, particularly bending, of the double helix. The A-tract curvature, which modulates these processes, has thus been a subject of long-standing interest. Here we describe the ongoing evolution of models developed to account for the sequence-dependent bending and curvature of DNA, namely the AA-wedge, junction, and flexible anisotropic dimer models. We further show that recent high-resolution NMR structures of DNA A-tracts are consistent with crystallographically observed structures, and that the combined data provide a realistic basis for describing the behavior of curved DNA in solution.