The specific effects of salts (strong electrolytes) on biomolecular properties have been investigated for more than a century. By contrast, the specific role of pH buffers (weak electrolytes and their salts) has usually been ignored. Here, specific buffer effects on DNA thermal stability were evaluated by measuring the melting curve of calf thymus DNA through UV–vis spectroscopy. The study was carried out using phosphate, Tris, citrate and cacodylate buffers at fixed pH 7.4 at concentrations varying systematically in the range 1–600 mM. DNA stability increases with buffer concentration and is influenced specifically by buffer type. To interpret empirical data, a theoretical model was applied with parameters quantifying the impact of buffer on the DNA backbone charge. Comparing the buffer effects via buffer ionic strength rather than buffer concentration, we find that the buffers stabilize DNA in the order Tris > cacodylate > phosphate > citrate.

The melting curves of calf thymus-DNA are buffer specific

Monduzzi, Maura;Mura, Monica;Carucci, Cristina;Cesare Marincola, Flaminia;Parsons, Drew F.
;
Salis, Andrea
2023

Abstract

The specific effects of salts (strong electrolytes) on biomolecular properties have been investigated for more than a century. By contrast, the specific role of pH buffers (weak electrolytes and their salts) has usually been ignored. Here, specific buffer effects on DNA thermal stability were evaluated by measuring the melting curve of calf thymus DNA through UV–vis spectroscopy. The study was carried out using phosphate, Tris, citrate and cacodylate buffers at fixed pH 7.4 at concentrations varying systematically in the range 1–600 mM. DNA stability increases with buffer concentration and is influenced specifically by buffer type. To interpret empirical data, a theoretical model was applied with parameters quantifying the impact of buffer on the DNA backbone charge. Comparing the buffer effects via buffer ionic strength rather than buffer concentration, we find that the buffers stabilize DNA in the order Tris > cacodylate > phosphate > citrate.
DNA; Electrostatic interaction; Melting temperature; Specific buffer effects.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/347499
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