Fine structure of DNA melting curves

Yu L. Lyubchenko, M. D. Frank–Kamenetskii, A. V. Volgodskii, Yu S. Lazurkin, G. G. Gause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Theoretical calculations predict that the differential melting curves for random polynucleotide sequences having lengths up to several tens of thousands of base pairs have a clear‐cut fine structure. This structure appears in the form of multiple narrow peaks 0.3–0.4°C wide on the bell shaped main curve. The differential melting curves have different shapes for different specific sequences. The theory also predicts the disappearance of the fine structure when the length of the sequence increases and when circular, covalently closed DNA is considered instead of the open structure. The predictions of the theory were confirmed by the measurements of differential melting curves for open and covalently closed circular forms of DNA for PM2 phage (N = 104 base pairs) and also for other phage DNA's of different length: T7 (N = 3.8 × 104); SD (N = 9.2 × 104); T2 (N = 17 × 104). It was shown that the effect of fine structure results mainly from the cooperative melting out of DNA regions 300–500 base pairs long.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1036
Number of pages18
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry


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