Modern force microscopy techniques allow researchers to use mechanical forces to probe interactions between biomolecules. However, such measurements often happen in nonequilibrium regime, which precludes straightforward extraction of the equilibrium energy information. Here we use the work-averaging method based on Jarzynski equality to reconstruct the equilibrium interaction potential from the unbinding of a complementary 14-mer DNA duplex from the results of nonequilibrium single-molecule measurements. The reconstructed potential reproduces most of the features of the DNA stretching transition, previously observed only in equilibrium stretching of long DNA sequences. We also compare the reconstructed potential with the thermodynamic parameters of DNA duplex unbinding and show that the reconstruction accurately predicts duplex melting enthalpy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)