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/content/aip/journal/adva/3/11/10.1063/1.4830281
2013-11-07
2016-12-03

Abstract

The physical mechanism leading to the formation of large intermolecular DNA-protein complexes has been studied. Our study aims to explain the occurrence of fast coacervation dynamics at the charge neutralization point, followed by the appearance of smaller complexes and slower coacervation dynamics as the complex experiences overcharging. Furthermore, the electrostatic potential and probe mobility was investigated to mimic the transport of DNA / DNA-protein complex in a DNA-protein complex coacervate medium [N. Arfin and H. B. Bohidar, J. Phys. Chem. B116, 13192 (2012)] by assigning neutral, negative, or positive charge to the probe particle. The mobility of the neutral probe was maximal at low matrix concentrations and showed random walk behavior, while its mobility ceased at the jamming concentration of c = 0.6, showing sub-diffusion and trapped dynamics. The positively charged probe showed sub-diffusive random walk followed by trapped dynamics, while the negatively charged probe showed trapping with occasional hopping dynamics at much lower concentrations. Sub-diffusion of the probe was observed in all cases under consideration, where the electrostatic interaction was used exclusively as the dominant force involved in the dynamics. For neutral and positive probes, the mean square displacement ⟨ 2⟩ exhibits a scaling with time as ⟨ 2⟩ ∼ α, distinguishing random walk and trapped dynamics at α = 0.64 ± 0.04 at c = 0.12 and c = 0.6, respectively. In addition, the same scaling factors with the exponent β = 0.64 ± 0.04 can be used to distinguish random walk and trapped dynamics for the neutral and positive probes using the relation between the number of distinct sites visited by the probe, S(t), which follows the scaling, () ∼ β/ln (). Our results established the occurrence of a hierarchy of diffusion dynamics experienced by a probe in a dense medium that is either charged or neutral.

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