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Issue 8, 2011
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Size and morphology of assemblies formed by DNA and lysozyme in dilute aqueous mixtures

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Abstract

Assemblies formed by a well-defined quality of DNA (4331 bp T7 DNA) and the small net-cationic protein lysozyme in dilute aqueous solutions have been characterized using cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) as the main techniques. In a wide range of different DNA to lysozyme ratios in solutions of low ionic strength, dispersions of aggregates with the same general morphology and a practically constant hydrodynamic size are formed. The basic structure formed in the dispersions is that of rather flexible worm-like assemblies with a diameter of 10–20 nm, which are suggested to be made up by bundles of on the order of 10 DNA chains with an intervening matrix of lysozyme. With increased ionic strength, the worm-like appearance of the assemblies is lost and they adopt a less well-defined shape. The results suggest that the formation of the DNA–lysozyme aggregates is strongly influenced by cooperative assembly of the components and that, in addition to the electrostatic attraction between DNA and lysozyme, attractive interactions between the protein units are important in governing the behavior of the system.

Graphical abstract: Size and morphology of assemblies formed by DNA and lysozyme in dilute aqueous mixtures

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Article information


Submitted
17 Jul 2010
Accepted
30 Sep 2010
First published
03 Nov 2010

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011,13, 3082-3091
Article type
Paper

Size and morphology of assemblies formed by DNA and lysozyme in dilute aqueous mixtures

D. Lundberg, A. M. Carnerup, J. Janiak, K. Schillén, M. D. G. Miguel and B. Lindman, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 3082
DOI: 10.1039/C0CP01220C

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