Atomic force microscopy study of DNA conformation in the presence of drugs

Valeria Cassina, Davide Seruggia, Giovanni Luca Beretta, Domenico Salerno, Doriano Brogioli, Stefano Manzini, Franco Zunino, Francesco Mantegazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Binding of ligands to DNA gives rise to several relevant biological and biomedical effects. Here, through the use of atomic force microscopy (AFM), we studied the consequences of drug binding on the morphology of single DNA molecules. In particular, we quantitatively analyzed the effects of three different DNA-binding molecules (doxorubicin, ethidium bromide, and netropsin) that exert various pharmacologic and therapeutic effects. The results of this study show the consequences of intercalation and groove molecular binding on DNA conformation. These single-molecule measurements demonstrate morphological features that reflect the specific modes of drug-DNA interaction. This experimental approach may have implications in the design of therapeutically effective agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • DNA
  • Doxorubicin
  • Ethidium bromide
  • Netropsin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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