UNIT 7.4 Calorimetry of Nucleic Acids

  1. Daniel S. Pilch

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142700.nc0704s00

Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry

Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry

How to Cite

Pilch, D. S. 2001. Calorimetry of Nucleic Acids. Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry. 00:7.4:7.4.1–7.4.9.

Author Information

  1. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: FEB 2000

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This unit describes the application of differential scanning and isothermal titration calorimetry (DSC and ITC) to the study of the thermodynamics of nucleic acid structure. DSC is used to study order-disorder transitions. A single DSC profile provides a wealth of thermodynamic and extrathermodynamic information: transition enthalpy, entropy, free energy, heat capacity, the state of the transition (two-state vs. multistate), and the size of the cooperative unit. ITC is used to study hybridization of nucleic acids at constant temperature. Results can be used to determine the stoichiometry of the association reaction, the enthalpy of association, the equilibrium association constant, and the free energy and entropy of association. A thorough discussion is presented of the details required to obtain meaningful results, as well as relevant methods for analyzing the data produced.