Solid-state NMR of DNA

Chi Long Juang, Pei Tang, Gerard S. Harbison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) of DNA. Solid-state NMR is one of the most useful techniques, for probing the structure and dynamics of DNA. Since it can measure the orientational as well as distance information, it is a useful complement to liquid-state NMR and the crystallographic methods. The problem, until now, has been resolution. Even highly oriented DNA samples are poorly ordered, by comparison with, for example, single crystals; therefore, if several spin species are present in the sample, it will be difficult to distinguish the contributions from the individual species. For this reason, most solid-state NMR studies of DNA have concentrated on phosphorus, sodium, or deuterium; there is formally only a single phosphorus and sodium species in DNA, whereas deuterium can be selectively attached to the C-8 carbon of purines. Two other variables affect the properties of DNA; excess salt content and humidity. Some excess salt is almost always present in DNA prepared from electrolyte solutions; its quantity can be controlled by modifying the ionic strength of the solution, from which the DNA is precipitated or in which it is bathed after precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-270
Number of pages15
JournalMethods in enzymology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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