Influence of ions on genome packaging and ejection

A molecular dynamics study

I. Ali, D. Marenduzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We, theoretically, investigate the effect of ions on the packing and ejection dynamics of flexible and semiflexible polymers from spherical viral capsids. We find that when the polymer charge is less screened, or the Debye length increases (corresponding to a buffer with low concentration of a monovalent salt, such as Na), the packing becomes more difficult and it may stop midway. Ejection, instead, proceeds more easily if the electrostatic screening is small. On the other hand, more screening (corresponding, for example, to the addition of divalent ions such as Mg 2) results in easier packing and slower ejection. We interpret this as resulting from electrostatic forces among the various polymer sections, which can be tuned with the type of salt present in the solution. We also discuss how the DNA structure inside the capsid changes due to screened electrostatic interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095101
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume135
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 7 2011

Fingerprint

genome
packaging
ejection
Molecular dynamics
Packaging
Polymers
Genes
Ions
electrostatics
molecular dynamics
Screening
polymers
screening
Salts
salts
ions
Debye length
Electrostatic force
Coulomb interactions
low concentrations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this

Influence of ions on genome packaging and ejection : A molecular dynamics study. / Ali, I.; Marenduzzo, D.

In: Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol. 135, No. 9, 095101, 07.09.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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