Water around biomolecules is special for behaving strangely – both in terms of structure and dynamics, while ions are foundto control various interactions in biomolecules such as DNA, proteins and lipids. The questions that how water and ionsaround these biomolecules behave in terms of their structure and dynamics, and how they affect the biomolecular functionshave triggered tremendous research activities worldwide. Such activities not only unfolded important static and dynamicproperties of water and ions around these biomolecules, but also provoked heated debate regarding their explanation androle in biological functions. DNA, being negatively charged, interacts strongly with the surrounding dipolar water andpositively charged counterions, leading to complex electrostatic coupling of water and ions with the DNA. Recent timeresolvedfluorescence Stokes shift experiments and related computer simulation studies from our and other laboratorieshave unfolded some unique dynamic characteristics of water and ions near different structures of DNA. These results arediscussed here to showcase the specialty of water and ion dynamics around DNA.
Volume 47, 2022
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