Matching Items (9)

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Investigating the Stability of DNA Origami Structures in Buffer Solutions

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DNA nanotechnology uses the reliability of Watson-Crick base pairing to program and generate two-dimensional and three-dimensional nanostructures using single-stranded DNA as the structural material. DNA nanostructures show great promise for

DNA nanotechnology uses the reliability of Watson-Crick base pairing to program and generate two-dimensional and three-dimensional nanostructures using single-stranded DNA as the structural material. DNA nanostructures show great promise for the future of bioengineering, as there are a myriad of potential applications that utilize DNA’s chemical interactivity and ability to bind other macromolecules and metals. DNA origami is a method of constructing nanostructures, which consists of a long “scaffold” strand folded into a shape by shorter “staple” oligonucleotides. Due to the negative charge of DNA molecules, divalent cations, most commonly magnesium, are required for origami to form and maintain structural integrity. The experiments in this paper address the discrepancy between salt concentrations required for origami stability and the salt concentrations present in living systems. The stability of three structures, a two-dimensional triangle, a three-dimensional solid cuboid and a three-dimensional wireframe icosahedron were examined in buffer solutions containing various concentrations of salts. In these experiments, DNA origami structures remained intact in low-magnesium conditions that emulate living cells, supporting their potential for widespread biological application in the future.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Functional and regulatory biomolecular networks organized by DNA nanostructures

Description

DNA has recently emerged as an extremely promising material to organize molecules on nanoscale. The reliability of base recognition, self-assembling behavior, and attractive structural properties of DNA are of unparalleled

DNA has recently emerged as an extremely promising material to organize molecules on nanoscale. The reliability of base recognition, self-assembling behavior, and attractive structural properties of DNA are of unparalleled value in systems of this size. DNA scaffolds have already been used to organize a variety of molecules including nanoparticles and proteins. New protein-DNA bio-conjugation chemistries make it possible to precisely position proteins and other biomolecules on underlying DNA scaffolds, generating multi-biomolecule pathways with the ability to modulate inter-molecular interactions and the local environment. This dissertation focuses on studying the application of using DNA nanostructure to direct the self-assembly of other biomolecular networks to translate biochemical pathways to non-cellular environments. Presented here are a series of studies toward this application. First, a novel strategy utilized DNA origami as a scaffold to arrange spherical virus capsids into one-dimensional arrays with precise nanoscale positioning. This hierarchical self-assembly allows us to position the virus particles with unprecedented control and allows the future construction of integrated multi-component systems from biological scaffolds using the power of rationally engineered DNA nanostructures. Next, discrete glucose oxidase (GOx)/ horseradish peroxidase (HRP) enzyme pairs were organized on DNA origami tiles with controlled interenzyme spacing and position. This study revealed two different distance-dependent kinetic processes associated with the assembled enzyme pairs. Finally, a tweezer-like DNA nanodevice was designed and constructed to actuate the activity of an enzyme/cofactor pair. Using this approach, several cycles of externally controlled enzyme inhibition and activation were successfully demonstrated. This principle of responsive enzyme nanodevices may be used to regulate other types of enzymes and to introduce feedback or feed-forward control loops.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Computational design and study of structural and dynamic nucleic acid systems

Description

DNA and RNA are generally regarded as one of the central molecules in molecular biology. Recent advancements in the field of DNA/RNA nanotechnology witnessed the success of usage of DNA/RNA

DNA and RNA are generally regarded as one of the central molecules in molecular biology. Recent advancements in the field of DNA/RNA nanotechnology witnessed the success of usage of DNA/RNA as programmable molecules to construct nano-objects with predefined shapes and dynamic molecular machines for various functions. From the perspective of structural design with nucleic acid, there are basically two types of assembly method, DNA tile based assembly and DNA origami based assembly, used to construct infinite-sized crystal structures and finite-sized molecular structures. The assembled structure can be used for arrangement of other molecules or nanoparticles with the resolution of nanometers to create new type of materials. The dynamic nucleic acid machine is based on the DNA strand displacement, which allows two nucleic acid strands to hybridize with each other to displace one or more prehybridized strands in the process. Strand displacement reaction has been implemented to construct a variety of dynamic molecular systems, such as molecular computer, oscillators, in vivo devices for gene expression control.

This thesis will focus on the computational design of structural and dynamic nucleic acid systems, particularly for new type of DNA structure design and high precision control of gene expression in vivo. Firstly, a new type of fundamental DNA structural motif, the layered-crossover motif, will be introduced. The layered-crossover allow non-parallel alignment of DNA helices with precisely controlled angle. By using the layered-crossover motif, the scaffold can go through the 3D framework DNA origami structures. The properties of precise angle control of the layered-crossover tiles can also be used to assemble 2D and 3D crystals. One the dynamic control part, a de-novo-designed riboregulator is developed that can recognize single nucleotide variation. The riboregulators can also be used to develop paper-based diagnostic devices.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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DNA nanostructures as programmable biomolecular scaffolds for enzymatic systems

Description

Nature is a master at organizing biomolecules in all intracellular processes, and researchers have conducted extensive research to understand the way enzymes interact with each other through spatial and orientation

Nature is a master at organizing biomolecules in all intracellular processes, and researchers have conducted extensive research to understand the way enzymes interact with each other through spatial and orientation positioning, substrate channeling, compartmentalization, and more.

DNA nanostructures of high programmability and complexity provide excellent scaffolds to arrange multiple molecular/macromolecular components at nanometer scale to construct interactive biomolecular complexes and networks. Due to the sequence specificity at different positions of the DNA origami nanostructures, spatially addressable molecular pegboard with a resolution of several nm (less than 10 nm) can be achieved. So far, DNA nanostructures can be used to build nanodevices ranging from in vitro small molecule biosensing to sophisticated in vivo therapeutic drug delivery systems and multi-enzyme networks.

This thesis focuses on how to use DNA nanostructures as programmable biomolecular scaffolds to arranges enzymatic systems. Presented here are a series of studies toward this goal. First, we survey approaches used to generate protein-DNA conjugates and the use of structural DNA nanotechnology to engineer rationally designed nanostructures. Second, novel strategies for positioning enzymes on DNA nanoscaffolds has been developed and optimized, including site-specific/ non site-specific protein-DNA conjugation, purification and characterization. Third, an artificial swinging arm enzyme-DNA complex has been developed to mimic substrate channeling process. Finally, we extended to build a artificial 2D multi-enzyme network.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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DNA directed self-assembly of plasmonic nanoparticles

Description

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a biopolymer well known for its role in preserving genetic information in biology, is now drawing great deal of interest from material scientists. Ease of synthesis, predictable

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a biopolymer well known for its role in preserving genetic information in biology, is now drawing great deal of interest from material scientists. Ease of synthesis, predictable molecular recognition via Watson-Crick base pairing, vast numbers of available chemical modifications, and intrinsic nanoscale size makes DNA a suitable material for the construction of a plethora of nanostructures that can be used as scaffold to organize functional molecules with nanometer precision. This dissertation focuses on DNA-directed organization of metallic nanoparticles into well-defined, discrete structures and using them to study photonic interaction between fluorophore and metal particle. Presented here are a series of studies toward this goal. First, a novel and robust strategy of DNA functionalized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was developed and DNA functionalized AgNPs were employed for the organization of discrete well-defined dimeric and trimeric structures using a DNA triangular origami scaffold. Assembly of 1:1 silver nanoparticle and gold nanoparticle heterodimer has also been demonstrated using the same approach. Next, the triangular origami structures were used to co-assemble gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and fluorophores to study the distance dependent and nanogap dependencies of the photonic interactions between them. These interactions were found to be consistent with the full electrodynamic simulations. Further, a gold nanorod (AuNR), an anisotropic nanoparticle was assembled into well-defined dimeric structures with predefined inter-rod angles. These dimeric structures exhibited unique optical properties compared to single AuNR that was consistent with the theoretical calculations. Fabrication of otherwise difficult to achieve 1:1 AuNP- AuNR hetero dimer, where the AuNP can be selectively placed at the end-on or side-on positions of anisotropic AuNR has also been shown. Finally, a click chemistry based approach was developed to organize sugar modified DNA on a particular arm of a DNA origami triangle and used them for site-selective immobilization of small AgNPs.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Programmed DNA self-assembly and logic circuits

Description

DNA is a unique, highly programmable and addressable biomolecule. Due to its reliable and predictable base recognition behavior, uniform structural properties, and extraordinary stability, DNA molecules are desirable substrates for

DNA is a unique, highly programmable and addressable biomolecule. Due to its reliable and predictable base recognition behavior, uniform structural properties, and extraordinary stability, DNA molecules are desirable substrates for biological computation and nanotechnology. The field of DNA computation has gained considerable attention due to the possibility of exploiting the massive parallelism that is inherent in natural systems to solve computational problems. This dissertation focuses on building novel types of computational DNA systems based on both DNA reaction networks and DNA nanotechnology. A series of related research projects are presented here. First, a novel, three-input majority logic gate based on DNA strand displacement reactions was constructed. Here, the three inputs in the majority gate have equal priority, and the output will be true if any two of the inputs are true. We subsequently designed and realized a complex, 5-input majority logic gate. By controlling two of the five inputs, the complex gate is capable of realizing every combination of OR and AND gates of the other 3 inputs. Next, we constructed a half adder, which is a basic arithmetic unit, from DNA strand operated XOR and AND gates. The aim of these two projects was to develop novel types of DNA logic gates to enrich the DNA computation toolbox, and to examine plausible ways to implement large scale DNA logic circuits. The third project utilized a two dimensional DNA origami frame shaped structure with a hollow interior where DNA hybridization seeds were selectively positioned to control the assembly of small DNA tile building blocks. The small DNA tiles were directed to fill the hollow interior of the DNA origami frame, guided through sticky end interactions at prescribed positions. This research shed light on the fundamental behavior of DNA based self-assembling systems, and provided the information necessary to build programmed nanodisplays based on the self-assembly of DNA.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Developing alternative genetic systems for structural DNA nanotechnology and Darwinian evolution

Description

A major goal of synthetic biology is to recapitulate emergent properties of life. Despite a significant body of work, a longstanding question that remains to be answered is how such

A major goal of synthetic biology is to recapitulate emergent properties of life. Despite a significant body of work, a longstanding question that remains to be answered is how such a complex system arose? In this dissertation, synthetic nucleic acid molecules with alternative sugar-phosphate backbones were investigated as potential ancestors of DNA and RNA. Threose nucleic acid (TNA) is capable of forming stable helical structures with complementary strands of itself and RNA. This provides a plausible mechanism for genetic information transfer between TNA and RNA. Therefore TNA has been proposed as a potential RNA progenitor. Using molecular evolution, functional sequences were isolated from a pool of random TNA molecules. This implicates a possible chemical framework capable of crosstalk between TNA and RNA. Further, this shows that heredity and evolution are not limited to the natural genetic system based on ribofuranosyl nucleic acids. Another alternative genetic system, glycerol nucleic acid (GNA) undergoes intrasystem pairing with superior thermalstability compared to that of DNA. Inspired by this property, I demonstrated a minimal nanostructure composed of both left- and right-handed mirro image GNA. This work suggested that GNA could be useful as promising orthogonal material in structural DNA nanotechnology.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Thermodynamics and kinetics of DNA nanostructure assembly

Description

ABSTRACT The unique structural features of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that are of considerable biological interest also make it a valuable engineering material. Perhaps the most useful property of DNA for

ABSTRACT The unique structural features of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that are of considerable biological interest also make it a valuable engineering material. Perhaps the most useful property of DNA for molecular engineering is its ability to self-assemble into predictable, double helical secondary structures. These interactions are exploited to design a variety of DNA nanostructures, which can be organized into both discrete and periodic structures. This dissertation focuses on studying the dynamic behavior of DNA nanostructure recognition processes. The thermodynamics and kinetics of nanostructure binding are evaluated, with the intention of improving our ability to understand and control their assembly. Presented here are a series of studies toward this goal. First, multi-helical DNA nanostructures were used to investigate how the valency and arrangement of the connections between DNA nanostructures affect super-structure formation. The study revealed that both the number and the relative position of connections play a significant role in the stability of the final assembly. Next, several DNA nanostructures were designed to gain insight into how small changes to the nanostructure scaffolds, intended to vary their conformational flexibility, would affect their association equilibrium. This approach yielded quantitative information about the roles of enthalpy and entropy in the affinity of polyvalent DNA nanostructure interactions, which exhibit an intriguing compensating effect. Finally, a multi-helical DNA nanostructure was used as a model `chip' for the detection of a single stranded DNA target. The results revealed that the rate constant of hybridization is strongly dominated by a rate-limiting nucleation step.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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PNA-polypeptide assembly in a 3D DNA nanocage for building artificial catalytic centers

Description

Proteins and peptides fold into dynamic structures that access a broad functional landscape, however, designing artificial polypeptide systems continues to be a great chal-lenge. Conversely, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) engineering is

Proteins and peptides fold into dynamic structures that access a broad functional landscape, however, designing artificial polypeptide systems continues to be a great chal-lenge. Conversely, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) engineering is now routinely used to build a wide variety of two dimensional and three dimensional (3D) nanostructures from simple hybridization based rules, and their functional diversity can be significantly ex-panded through site specific incorporation of the appropriate guest molecules. This dis-sertation describes a gentle methodology for using short (8 nucleotide) peptide nucleic acid (PNA) linkers to assemble polypeptides within a 3D DNA nanocage, as a proof of concept for constructing artificial catalytic centers. PNA-polypeptide conjugates were synthesized directly using microwave assisted solid phase synthesis or alternatively PNA linkers were conjugated to biologically expressed proteins using chemical crosslinking. The PNA-polypeptides hybridized to the preassembled DNA nanocage at room tempera-ture or 11 ⁰C and could be assembled in a stepwise fashion. Time resolved fluorescence anisotropy and gel electrophoresis were used to determine that a negatively charged az-urin protein was repelled outside of the negatively charged DNA nanocage, while a posi-tively charged cytochrome c protein was retained inside. Spectroelectrochemistry and an in-gel luminol oxidation assay demonstrated the cytochrome c protein remained active within the DNA nanocage and its redox potential decreased modestly by 10 mV due to the presence of the DNA nanocage. These results demonstrate the benign PNA assembly conditions are ideal for preserving polypeptide structure and function, and will facilitate the polypeptide-based assembly of artificial catalytic centers inside a stable DNA nanocage. A prospective application of assembling multiple cyclic γ-PNA-peptides to mimic the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) catalytic active site from photosystem II (PSII) is described. In this way, the robust catalytic capacity of PSII could be utilized, without suffering the light-induced damage that occurs by the photoreactions within PSII via triplet state formation, which limits the efficiency of natural photosynthesis. There-fore, this strategy has the potential to revolutionize the process of designing and building robust catalysts by leveraging nature's recipes, and also providing a flexible and con-trolled artificial environment that might even improve them further towards commercial viability.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014