The conformational behavior of a giant DNA mediated by condensing agents in the bulk solution has been investigated through experimental and theoretical approaches. Experimentally, a pronounced conformational hysteresis is observed for folding and unfolding processes, by increasing and decreasing the concentration of condensing agent (polyethylene glycol) (PEG), respectively. To elucidate the observed hysteresis, a semiflexible chain model is studied by using Monte Carlo simulations for the coil-globule transition. In the simulations, the hysteresis loop emerges for stiff enough chains, indicating distinct pathways for folding and unfolding processes. Also, our results show that globular state is thermodynamically more stable than coiled state in the hysteresis loop. Our findings suggest that increasing chain stiffness may reduce the chain conformations relevant to the folding pathway, which impedes the folding process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry