Energy localization in an anharmonic twist-opening model of DNA dynamics

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Energy localization is investigated in the framework of the anharmonic twist-opening model proposed by Cocco and Monasson. This model includes the coupling between opening and twist that result from the helicoidal geometry of B-DNA. I first reduce the corresponding two-component model to its amplitude equations, which have the form of coupled discrete nonlinear Schr̈odinger (DNLS) equations, and I perform the linear stability analysis of the plane waves, solutions of the coupled DNLS equations. It is shown that the stability criterion deeply depends on the stiffness of the molecule. Numerical simulations are carried out in order to verify analytical predictions. It results that increasing the value of the molecule stiffness makes the energy patterns long-lived and highly localized. This can be used to explain the way enzymes concentrate energy on specific sequences of DNA for the base-pairs to be broken. The role of those enzymes could therefore be to increase the stiffness of closed regions of DNA at the boundaries of an open state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number414107
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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