This NATO-ASI on BIOPOLYMERS STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS held between 22nd June 4th July 1986 at Erice (Italy) has brought together scientists from a broad variety of biophysical disciplines - polymer physics, biophysics and physical chemistry, structure and dynamics of polynucleotides, proteins, and polysaccharides - to present the current state of knowledge in their fields, both experimental and theoretical. This Advanced Study Institute was indeed a successfull attempt to enhance the possibility of intersection of a number of research lines that currently are progressing well but are still running largely in parallel with one another: protein folding, single-polymer phase transitions, DNA condensation into liquid crystalline-like arrays, packaging in viruses, and polysaccharide gel formation. Although each phenomenon is distinctive, an awareness of similarities may lead to new ic;leas. The program has emphasized "condensed" forms of biopolymers. We are universally confronted in biology by chain polymers folded on themselves or interlinked in gel-like assemblies, whether we look at the native structure of proteins, the role of polysaccharides in connective tissue, or the genetic apparatus. A number of lectures have been devoted to condensed forms of DNA - closed circular supercoils, toruses, chromatin.
Dynamics of Polynucleotides as Probed by Interacting Ions and Molecules.- Circular Dichroism as a Probe of Tertiary Structure.- Zeeman Laser Scattering (ZLS): a New Light Scattering Technique.- Structure and Dynamics of Double Helices in Solution: Analysis of DNA Bending by Electro-optical Experiments.- NMR Studies of Loopfolding in a DNA Hairpin Molecule.- Structure and Function in Nucleic Acids: Mutagenesis.- The Structure and Physical Chemistry of Cruciform Structures in Supercoiled DNA.- Toroidal DNA Condensates; Aspects of Formation, Structures, Dynamics and Biological Implications.- Null-DNA: a Theory of the Elastic Instability and Spontaneous Kinking of DNA with Charge-Neutralized Phosphates.- The Dynamic Structural Fluctuations of Nucleic Acid-Drug Complexes.- The Higher Order Structure and Dynamics of Chromatin-DNA.- On the Behaviour of Ionic Polysaccharides in Dilute Aqueous Solutions.- Gels.- LIST OF PARTICIPANTS.- SUBJECTS INDEX.