Beta-cyclodextrin in DNA decompaction: an imaging approach

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2010 Jan 1;2:684-93. doi: 10.2741/e128.


In the present work we investigate the CTAB:DNA complexes decompaction process using beta-CD as a decompacting agent. The transition from globules (compacted DNA) to coils (decompacted DNA) was achieved without a coexistence region between coils and globules. This non first-order transition was investigated combining fluorescence microscopy (FM), cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and TEM of negatively stained samples. Additionally the presence of multi-globular aggregates in the proximity of the critical transition was elucidated. A possible mechanism for the decompaction process was suggested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cetrimonium
  • Cetrimonium Compounds / metabolism*
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation / drug effects*
  • beta-Cyclodextrins / metabolism*
  • beta-Cyclodextrins / pharmacology


  • Cetrimonium Compounds
  • beta-Cyclodextrins
  • DNA
  • betadex
  • Cetrimonium