Terahertz Wave Accelerates DNA Unwinding: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study

Posted on 2020-08-13 - 12:06
Unwinding the double helix of the DNA molecule is the basis of gene duplication and gene editing, and the acceleration of this unwinding process is crucial to the rapid detection of genetic information. Based on the unwinding of six-base-pair DNA duplexes, we demonstrate that a terahertz stimulus at a characteristic frequency (44.0 THz) can serve as an efficient, nonthermal, and long-range method to accelerate the unwinding process of DNA duplexes. The average speed of the unwinding process increased by 20 times at least, and its temperature was significantly reduced. The mechanism was revealed to be the resonance between the terahertz stimulus and the vibration of purine connected by the weak hydrogen bond and the consequent break in hydrogen bond connections between these base pairs. Our findings potentially provide a promising application of terahertz technology for the rapid detection of nucleic acids, biomedicine, and therapy.


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