The overall stability of DNA molecules globally depends on base-pair stacking, base-pairing, polyelectrolyte effect and hydration contributions. In order to improve our understanding of the role of ions, water and protons in the stability and melting behavior of DNA structures, we report an experimental approach to determine the differential binding of ions (Δnion), water (ΔnW) and protons (ΔnH+) in the helix-coil transition of DNA molecules.

A combination of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and temperature-dependent UV spectroscopic techniques were used to investigate the unfolding of a variety of DNA molecules. 

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