Quarterly Reviews of Biophysics

Research Article

The molecular theory of polyelectrolyte solutions with applications to the electrostatic properties of polynucleotides

Gerald S. Manninga1

a1 Wright and Rieman Chemistry Laboratories, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903

Although the importance of the polyelectrolyte character of DNA has been recognized for some time (Felsenfeld & Miles 1967), few of the implications have been explored, primarily because of a lag in translating the breakthroughs in polyelectrolyte theory of the last decade into a form that is well adapted to the analysis of the specialized problems of biophysical chemistry. Perhaps an analogous situation existed in the field of protein chemistry during the period after the formulation and confirmation of the Debye—Hückel theory of ionic solutions but before Scatchard's incorporation of the theory into his analysis of the binding properties of proteins. An achievement for polynucleotide solutions parallel to Scatchard's was recently presented by Record, Lohman, & de Haseth (1976) and further developed and reviewed by Record, Anderson & Lohman (1978).