Total positive curvature of circular DNA

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The properties of double-stranded DNA and other chiral molecules depend on the local geometry, i.e., on curvature and torsion, yet the paths of closed chain molecules are globally restricted by topology. When both of these characteristics are to be incorporated in the description of circular chain molecules, e.g., plasmids, it is shown to have implications for the total positive curvature integral. For small circular micro-DNAs it follows as a consequence of Fenchel's inequality that there must exist a minimum length for the circular plasmids to be double stranded. It also follows that all circular micro-DNAs longer than the minimum length must be concave, a result that is consistent with typical atomic force microscopy images of plasmids. Predictions for the total positive curvature of circular micro-DNAs are given as a function of length, and comparisons with circular DNAs from the literature are presented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)052714
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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©2013 American Physical Society

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