Calorimetric determination of base‐stacking enthalpies in double‐helical DNA molecules

Luis A. Marky, Kenneth J. Breslauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Differential scanning calorimetry was used to directly determine the transition enthalpies accompanying the duplex‐to‐single‐strand transition of poly[d(AT)], poly(dA)·poly(dT), poly[d(AC)]·poly[d(TG)], and d(GCGCGC). The calorimetric data allow us to define the following average base‐stacking enthalpies: (Table presented) Comparison with published data on the corresponding RNA interactions reveals remarkably good agreement. By assuming transition enthalpies to result from the pairwise disruption of nearest‐neighbor stacking interactions, we used the enthalpy data listed above to predict the transition enthalpies for three oligomeric DNA duplexes. Excellent agreement was found between the predicted and the calorimetrically determined values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2185-2194
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry


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