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      Model simulations of DNA denaturation dynamics

      , ,
      The Journal of Chemical Physics
      AIP Publishing

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          A DNA-based method for rationally assembling nanoparticles into macroscopic materials.

          Colloidal particles of metals and semiconductors have potentially useful optical, optoelectronic and material properties that derive from their small (nanoscopic) size. These properties might lead to applications including chemical sensors, spectroscopic enhancers, quantum dot and nanostructure fabrication, and microimaging methods. A great deal of control can now be exercised over the chemical composition, size and polydispersity of colloidal particles, and many methods have been developed for assembling them into useful aggregates and materials. Here we describe a method for assembling colloidal gold nanoparticles rationally and reversibly into macroscopic aggregates. The method involves attaching to the surfaces of two batches of 13-nm gold particles non-complementary DNA oligonucleotides capped with thiol groups, which bind to gold. When we add to the solution an oligonucleotide duplex with 'sticky ends' that are complementary to the two grafted sequences, the nanoparticles self-assemble into aggregates. This assembly process can be reversed by thermal denaturation. This strategy should now make it possible to tailor the optical, electronic and structural properties of the colloidal aggregates by using the specificity of DNA interactions to direct the interactions between particles of different size and composition.
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            Thermodynamic parameters for an expanded nearest-neighbor model for formation of RNA duplexes with Watson-Crick base pairs.

            Improved thermodynamic parameters for prediction of RNA duplex formation are derived from optical melting studies of 90 oligoribonucleotide duplexes containing only Watson-Crick base pairs. To test end or base composition effects, new sets of duplexes are included that have identical nearest neighbors, but different base compositions and therefore different ends. Duplexes with terminal GC pairs are more stable than duplexes with the same nearest neighbors but terminal AU pairs. Penalizing terminal AU base pairs by 0.45 kcal/mol relative to terminal GC base pairs significantly improves predictions of DeltaG degrees37 from a nearest-neighbor model. A physical model is suggested in which the differential treatment of AU and GC ends accounts for the dependence of the total number of Watson-Crick hydrogen bonds on the base composition of a duplex. On average, the new parameters predict DeltaG degrees37, DeltaH degrees, DeltaS degrees, and TM within 3.2%, 6.0%, 6.8%, and 1.3 degreesC, respectively. These predictions are within the limit of the model, based on experimental results for duplexes predicted to have identical thermodynamic parameters.
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              Selective colorimetric detection of polynucleotides based on the distance-dependent optical properties of gold nanoparticles.

              A highly selective, colorimetric polynucleotide detection method based on mercaptoalkyloligonucleotide-modified gold nanoparticle probes is reported. Introduction of a single-stranded target oligonucleotide (30 bases) into a solution containing the appropriate probes resulted in the formation of a polymeric network of nanoparticles with a concomitant red-to-pinkish/purple color change. Hybridization was facilitated by freezing and thawing of the solutions, and the denaturation of these hybrid materials showed transition temperatures over a narrow range that allowed differentiation of a variety of imperfect targets. Transfer of the hybridization mixture to a reverse-phase silica plate resulted in a blue color upon drying that could be detected visually. The unoptimized system can detect about 10 femtomoles of an oligonucleotide.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JCPSA6
                The Journal of Chemical Physics
                J. Chem. Phys.
                AIP Publishing
                00219606
                2001
                2001
                : 114
                : 1
                : 579
                Article
                10.1063/1.1329137
                dc94fa0b-38b9-441d-a187-259d2083ba6c
                © 2001

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