DNA mechanics and its biological impact

Aakash Basu, Dmitriy G. Bobrovnikov, Taekjip Ha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Almost all nucleoprotein interactions and DNA manipulation events involve mechanical deformations of DNA. Extraordinary progresses in single-molecule, structural, and computational methods have characterized the average mechanical properties of DNA, such as bendability and torsional rigidity, in high resolution. Further, the advent of sequencing technology has permitted measuring, in high-throughput, how such mechanical properties vary with sequence and epigenetic modifications along genomes. We review these recent technological advancements, and discuss how they have contributed to the emerging idea that variations in the mechanical properties of DNA play a fundamental role in regulating, genome-wide, diverse processes involved in chromatin organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number166861
JournalJournal of molecular biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 19 2021


  • DNA physics
  • chromatin biophysics
  • genomics
  • mechanobiology of DNA
  • singlemolecule biophysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology


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