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Polymer looping is controlled by macromolecular crowding, spatial confinement, and chain stiffness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-206
Number of pages5
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


We study by extensive computer simulations the looping characteristics of linear polymers with varying persistence length inside a spherical cavity in the presence of macromolecular crowding. For stiff chains, the looping probability and looping time reveal wildly oscillating patterns as functions of the chain length. The effects of crowding differ dramatically for flexible versus stiff polymers. While for flexible chains the looping kinetics is slowed down by the crowders, for stiffer chains the kinetics turns out to be either decreased or facilitated, depending on the polymer length. For severe confinement, the looping kinetics may become strongly facilitated by crowding. Our findings are of broad impact for DNA looping in the crowded and compartmentalized interior of living biological cells.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland