On the formation of rings-on-a-string conformations in a single polyelectrolyte chain: A possible scenario

Takahiro Sakaue, Kenichi Yoshikawa

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Recent single-molecular observations have revealed that a single giant DNA molecule assumes (micro) phase separated structures upon the addition of condensing agents. Electron and atomic force microscopy have clearly shown the coexistence of ordered tori and disordered coil structures within a single DNA molecule. Motivated by these experimental findings, we theoretically investigated the collapse transition of a single polyelectrolyte chain driven by the addition of condensing guest molecules. We found that the transition behavior critically depends on the degree of the surviving charge inside the torus. When the torus is charged, even slightly, "rings-on-a-string" structures are expected for a sufficiently long chain, owing to the combinational entropy of segment state distribution along the chain and the unique property of the stability of charged torus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074904
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 28 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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