Nonlinear mechanical response of DNA due to anisotropic bending elasticity
Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences, 45195-159, Zanjan, Iran
The response of a short DNA segment to bending is studied, taking into account the anisotropy in the bending rigidities caused by the double-helical structure. It is shown that the anisotropy introduces an effective nonlinear twist-bend coupling that can lead to the formation of kinks and modulations in the curvature and/or in the twist, depending on the values of the elastic constants and the imposed deflection angle. The typical wavelength for the modulations, or the distance between the neighboring kinks is found to be set by half of the DNA pitch.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003