A raman study of low frequency intrahelical modes in a-, b-, and c-dna

T. Weidlich, Stuart Lindsay, Q. Rui, A. Rupprecht, W. L. Peticolas, G. A. Thomas

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61 Scopus citations


We have obtained low frequency (< 200 cm-1) Raman spectra of calf-thymus DNA and poly(rl) ? poly(rC) as a function of water content and counterion species and of d(GGTATACC)i and d(CGCGAATTCGCG)2 crystals. We have found that the Raman scattering from water in the first and second hydration shells does not contribute directly to the Raman spectra of DNA We have determined the number of strong Raman active modes by comparing spectra for different sample orientations and polarizations and by obtaining fits to the spectra. We have found at least five Raman active modes in the spectra of A- and B-DNA. The frequencies of the modes above 40 cnC1 do not vary with counterion species, and there are only relatively small changes upon hydration. These modes are, therefore, almost completely internal. The mode near 34 cm-1 in A-DNAis mostly internal, whereas the mode near 25 cm 1 is dominated by interhelical interactions. The observed intensity changes upon dehydration were found to be due to the decrease in interhelical distance. Polymer length appears to play a role in the lowest frequency modes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-171
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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