Polymer looping is controlled by macromolecular crowding, spatial confinement, and chain stiffness
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Scientific › peer-review
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||ACS Macro Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Feb 2015|
|Publication type||A1 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.