Conserved linear dynamics of single-molecule Brownian motion

Maged F. Serag, Satoshi Habuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Macromolecular diffusion in homogeneous fluid at length scales greater than the size of the molecule is regarded as a random process. The mean-squared displacement (MSD) of molecules in this regime increases linearly with time. Here we show that non-random motion of DNA molecules in this regime that is undetectable by the MSD analysis can be quantified by characterizing the molecular motion relative to a latticed frame of reference. Our lattice occupancy analysis reveals unexpected sub-modes of motion of DNA that deviate from expected random motion in the linear, diffusive regime. We demonstrate that a subtle interplay between these sub-modes causes the overall diffusive motion of DNA to appear to conform to the linear regime. Our results show that apparently random motion of macromolecules could be governed by non-random dynamics that are detectable only by their relative motion. Our analytical approach should advance broad understanding of diffusion processes of fundamental relevance.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 6 2017


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