Fluorescence microscopy was used to investigate the conformational changes of individual T4 DNA molecules induced by different compacting agents, namely the cationic surfactants, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and chloride (CTAC), iron(III), lysozyme, and protamine sulfate. A protocol for establishing size estimates is suggested to obtain reproducible results. Observations show that in the presence of lysozyme and protamine sulfate, DNA molecules exhibit a conformational change from an elongated coil structure to compact globules, usually interpreted as a first-order transition. The maximum degree of compaction that is attained when iron(III) or CTAB (CTAC) are used as compacting agents is considerably smaller, and intermediate structures (less elongated coils) are visible even for high concentrations of these agents. Dynamic light scattering experiments were carried out, for some of the systems, to assess the reliability of size estimates from fluorescence microscopy. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gaweda, S., Morán, M. C., Pais, A. A. C. C., Dias, R. S., Schillén, K., Lindman, B., & Miguel, M. G. (2008). Cationic agents for DNA compaction. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 323(1), 75–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2008.04.006