Sébastien Neukirch
Institut Jean le Rond d'Alembert
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Paris, France

tel: +33 1 44 27 72 61
fax : +33 1 44 27 52 59
e-mail: sebastien.neukirch (-atat-) upmc.fr

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Analytical results for the plectonemic response of supercoiled DNA

Nicolas Clauvelin, Basile Audoly, and Sébastien Neukirch

Journal of Computer-Aided Materials Design, 14 (2007) 95--101

Abstract : The DNA molecule is modeled as an elastic rod with bending and twisting rigidities, subjected to external tension and twist applied at one end, the other end being clamped. We study the plectonemic equilibrium of such a rod, taking into account the impenetrability constraint. Numerical solutions of this boundary value problem have previously shown that purely elastic models can reproduce the supercoiling response of the DNA molecule. Using a variational approach, we derive analytical formulae for the elastic response of the filament, and extend former numerical results.

Key words : DNA supercoiling, Twist storing polymer, Elastic rods

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