Calorimetric and spectroscopic investigation of the helix-to-coil transition of the self-complementary deoxyribonucleotide ATGCAT

Luis A. Marky, Lita Canuel, Roger A. Jones, Kenneth J. Breslauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Differential scanning calorimetry and temperature-dependent uv spectroscopy are used to thermodynamically characterize the double-strand to single-strand transition of the self-complementary deoxyribo-oligonucleotide ATGCAT. The calorimetric experiments provide a value of 33.6 kcal (mol of double strand)-1 for the transition between 10 and 90° C. In conjunction with available temperature-dependent nmr data (which reveals terminal base pair fraying), we attempt to define specifically those interactions to which the calorimetrically measured enthalpy change refers. Values of ΔHV.H. (van 't Hoff enthalpy change) are derived from the spectroscopic and calorimetric data and compared with the ΔH obtained directly from the calorimetric experiment. This comparison reveals that the part of the thermally-induced transition that occurs between 10 and 90°C is well represented by a two-state process. It is noted that in assessing the applicability of the two-state model it is best to compare the ΔHcal. with ΔHV.H. obtained from the calorimetric rather than the spectroscopic data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-149
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysical Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1981


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this