Stretching of megabase-sized deoxyribonucleic acid molecules by tuning electric-field frequency

Kaji, Noritada; Ueda, Masanori; Baba, Yoshinobu
October 2003
Applied Physics Letters;10/20/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 16, p3413
Academic Journal
Despite the technical difficulties of dealing with chromosome deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules, over a megabase pair (Mbp) in size, yeast chromosome DNA molecules, over hundreds of micrometers in length, were stretched from random coil conformation within a few minutes by careful tuning of the ac field frequency in a 1% agarose gel. This rapid and efficient stretching method was accomplished by a combination of optimal conditions for the stretching process and maintenance of stretched conformation. In the stretching process, Mbp DNA gets easily trapped in gel fibers. So achieving a stretched conformation without the trapping was accomplished by tuning the field frequency according to the conformation at the moment. Once stretched out, any sized DNA could be maintained in a stretched conformation under a 10 Hz ac field. As compared with shorter DNA, longer DNA existed in stretched conformation under a wide range of ac field frequencies. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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