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Salerno's Model of DNA Re-Analysed: Could Breather Solitons have Biological Significance?


Bashford, JD, Salerno's Model of DNA Re-Analysed: Could Breather Solitons have Biological Significance?, Journal of Biological Physics, 32, (1) pp. 27-47. ISSN 0092-0606 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10867-006-2719-1


We investigate the sequence-dependent behaviour of localised excitations in a toy, nonlinear model of DNA base-pair opening originally proposed by Salerno. Specifically we ask whether "breather" solitons could play a role in the facilitated location of promoters by RNA polymerase (RNAP). In an effective potential formalism, we find excellent correlation between potential minima and Escherichia coli promoter recognition sites in the T7 bacteriophage genome. Evidence for a similar relationship between phage promoters and downstream coding regions is found and alternative reasons for links between AT richness and transcriptionally-significant sites are discussed. Consideration of the soliton energy of translocation provides a novel dynamical picture of sliding: steep potential gradients correspond to deterministic motion, while "flat" regions, corresponding to homogeneous AT or GC content, are governed by random, thermal motion. Finally we demonstrate an interesting equivalence between planar, breather solitons and the helical motion of a sliding protein "particle" about a bent DNA axis. © Springer 2006.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Other physical sciences
Research Field:Other physical sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Bashford, JD (Dr James Bashford)
ID Code:41133
Year Published:2006
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP0344996)
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2006-08-01
Last Modified:2007-03-14

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