Different strategies for controlling DNA conformation: compaction and decompaction

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2009 Jun 1;1:228-41.


In the present review we summarize different strategies to induce DNA compaction and decompaction. DNA compaction is achieved using different cationic co-solutes, such as trivalent ions, surfactant, and polycations. In addition, single-chained DNA compaction can also be achieved in solvents with low dielectric constants and by confinement. The decompaction strategies depend, naturally, on the method used for the compaction and can be accomplished by, for example, heparins, cyclodextrins, non-ionic or anionic surfactants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cyclodextrins / pharmacology
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Heparin / pharmacology
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation / drug effects*
  • Polyamines / pharmacology
  • Surface-Active Agents / pharmacology


  • Cyclodextrins
  • Polyamines
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • polycations
  • Heparin
  • DNA