Structure and Dynamics of DNA Condensates at the Solid-Liquid Interface.
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To better understand the packaging of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the cell, plasmid DNA is imaged under fluid using atomic force microscopy. DNA condensates are formed at the solid-liquid interface of aqueous buffer and chemically modified mica. Their subsequent activity is monitored with atomic force microscopy. The experiments show that the DNA condensates and the strands that compose these condensates interact and are dynamic in fluid. For the first time, images of two closely spaced condensates show that the strands of one condensate organize commensurately with the nearby strands of the second condensate. The resulting observed structure may be an intermediate for a multimeric condensate. Various methods of imaging for extended lengths of time are currently being investigated to view the entire condensation formation process. Studies are also underway to observe the effects of different DNA topologies or conformations on condensate formation.