Encyclopedia of Biophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Gordon Roberts, Anthony Watts, European Biophysical Societies

UV Absorbance Spectroscopy of Biological Macromolecules

  • Alison Rodger
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35943-9_780-1

Synonyms

Definition

Proteins, DNAs, and RNAs are linear polymers where a limited set of residues are joined together by, respectively, the amide or phosphodiester bonds. The situation is similar for carbohydrates though the linking options are more varied here. To a first approximation, the absorbance spectrum expected for a biomolecule is the sum of the component parts. However, the polymerization process and the packing of the units perturb the spectra as discussed below (Berova et al. 2014; Nordén et al. 2010; Wallace and Janes 2009).

Basic Characteristics

Electronic Spectroscopy of Nucleic Acid Bases

The absorption spectra of nucleic acids in the easily accessible region of the spectrum (down to ∼180 nm) are dominated by ππ* transitions, which are, by symmetry, all polarized in the plane of the bases, so approximately perpendicular to the helix axis in B-DNA. The absorbance spectra of the DNA bases thymine (T), adenine (A), guanine (G),...
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References

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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular SciencesMacquarie UniversityMacquarie ParkAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alison Rodger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Sciences, Macquarie UniversityNWSAustralia