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Issue 19, 2011
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Right- and left-handed liquid crystal assemblies of oligonucleotides: phase chirality as a reporter of a change in non-chiral interactions?

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Abstract

Using molecular theory and coarse grained modelling, based on sequence dependent structural data, we have investigated the relationship between the sequence of oligonucleotides and their organization in the cholesteric phase. Despite the significantly different structure of the double helix, the same result has been found for all the investigated sequences: hard-core interactions would promote a right-handed cholesteric twist, whereas a change to a left-handed twist would be produced by electrostatic interactions. On the other hand, the structural differences between oligomers have been found to strongly influence the concentration at which the cholesteric phase appears. We propose that the sequence dependence of the cholesteric handedness, revealed by recent experiments (G. Zanchetta et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2010, 107, 17497), reflects a change in non-chiral interactions in DNA and RNA solutions under conditions of molecular crowding.

Graphical abstract: Right- and left-handed liquid crystal assemblies of oligonucleotides: phase chirality as a reporter of a change in non-chiral interactions?

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Mar 2011, accepted on 22 Jul 2011 and first published on 22 Aug 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05472D
Soft Matter, 2011,7, 9291-9296

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    Right- and left-handed liquid crystal assemblies of oligonucleotides: phase chirality as a reporter of a change in non-chiral interactions?

    E. Frezza, F. Tombolato and A. Ferrarini, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 9291
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05472D

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