Introducing a model of pairing based on Base pair specific interactions between identical DNA sequences
Abstract
At present, there have been suggested two types of physical mechanism that may facilitate preferential pairing between DNA molecules, with identical or similar base pair texts, without separation of base pairs. One solely relies on base pair specific patterns of helix distortion being the same on the two molecules, discussed extensively in the past. The other mechanism proposes that there are preferential interactions between base pairs of the same composition. We introduce a model, built on this second mechanism, where both thermal stretching and twisting fluctuations are included, as well as the base pair specific helix distortions. Firstly, we consider an approximation for weak pairing interactions, or short molecules. This yields a dependence of the energy on the square root of the molecular length, which could explain recent experimental data. However, analysis suggests that this approximation is nolonger valid at large DNA lengths. In a second approximation, for long molecules, we define two adaptation lengths for twisting and stretching, over which the pairing interaction can limit the accumulation of helix disorder. When the pairing interaction is sufficiently strong, both adaptation lengths are finite; however, as we reduce pairing strength, the stretching adaptation length remains finite but the torsional one becomes infinite. This second state persists to arbitrarily weak values of the pairing strength; suggesting that, if the molecules are long enough, the pairing energy scales as length. To probe differences between the two pairing mechanisms, we also construct a model of similar form. However, now, pairing between identical sequences solely relies on the intrinsic helix distortion patterns. Between the two models, we see interesting qualitative differences. We discuss our findings, and suggest new work to distinguish between the two mechanisms.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 November 2017
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1711.00869
 Bibcode:
 2017arXiv171100869D
 Keywords:

 Physics  Biological Physics;
 Condensed Matter  Soft Condensed Matter;
 Condensed Matter  Statistical Mechanics;
 Physics  Chemical Physics
 EPrint:
 Paper 31 pages+ Supplemental Material 54 pages