Abstract

The methylation of cytosine bases in DNA commonly takes place in the human genome and its abnormality can be used as a biomarker in the diagnosis of genetic diseases. In this paper we explore the effects of cytosine methylation on the conductance of DNA. Although the methyl group is a small chemical modification, and has a van der Waals radius of only 2, its presence significantly changes the duplex stability, and as such may also affect the conductance properties of DNA. To determine if charge transport through the DNA stack is sensitive to this important biological modification we perform multiple conductance measurements on a methylated DNA molecule with an alternating G:C sequence and its non-methylated counterpart. From these studies we find a measurable difference in the conductance between the two types of molecules, and demonstrate that this difference is statistically significant. The conductance values of these molecules are also compared with a similar sequence that has been previously studied to help elucidate the charge transport mechanisms involved in direct DNA conductance measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number164204
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Volume24
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 25 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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