Multivalent Cations Reverse the Twist-Stretch Coupling of RNA

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Xiao-Wei Qiang
  • Chen Zhang
  • Hai-Long Dong
  • Hang Fu
  • Ya-Jun Yang
  • Xing-Hua Zhang
  • Zhi-Jie Tan

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number108103
Journal / PublicationPhysical Review Letters
Volume128
Issue number10
Online published11 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2022

Link(s)

Abstract

When stretched, both DNA and RNA duplexes change their twist angles through twist-stretch coupling. The coupling is negative for DNA but positive for RNA, which is not yet completely understood. Here, our magnetic tweezers experiments show that the coupling of RNA reverses from positive to negative by multivalent cations. Combining with the previously reported tension-induced negative-to-positive coupling reversal of DNA, we propose a unified mechanism of the couplings of both RNA and DNA based on molecular dynamics simulations. Two deformation pathways are competing when stretched: shrinking the radius causes positive couplings but widening the major groove causes negative couplings. For RNA whose major groove is clamped by multivalent cations and canonical DNA, their radii shrink when stretched, thus exhibiting positive couplings. For elongated DNA whose radius already shrinks to the minimum and canonical RNA, their major grooves are widened when stretched, thus exhibiting negative couplings.

Research Area(s)

Citation Format(s)

Multivalent Cations Reverse the Twist-Stretch Coupling of RNA. / Qiang, Xiao-Wei; Zhang, Chen; Dong, Hai-Long et al.
In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 128, No. 10, 108103, 11.03.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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