We review a model for the free-solution electrophoretic mobility of oligomeric double-stranded (ds) DNA. We have found that the free-solution mobility of ds DNA increases as the molecular weight of the fragment increases, up to a few hundred base pairs. This insight is combined with recent advances in the nature of counterion condensation theory of very short DNA fragments to describe quantitatively the electrophoretic mobility of oligomeric single-stranded DNA in polyacrylamide gels. The model predicts, in agreement with recent experiments, that significant anomalous migration exists with short DNA sequences, the onset of which is dependent on the size of polyacrylamide gel pores. For terminal phosphate-labeled DNA fragments, the free-solution mobility is no longer proportional to the ratio of the total effective charge and the friction coefficient. These changes in properties affect the characteristics of migration of end-labeled DNA fragments in polyacrylamide gels.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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