Matching Items (34)

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Nanocaged enzymes with enhanced catalytic activity and increased stability against protease digestion

Description

Cells routinely compartmentalize enzymes for enhanced efficiency of their metabolic pathways. Here we report a general approach to construct DNA nanocaged enzymes for enhancing catalytic activity and stability. Nanocaged enzymes

Cells routinely compartmentalize enzymes for enhanced efficiency of their metabolic pathways. Here we report a general approach to construct DNA nanocaged enzymes for enhancing catalytic activity and stability. Nanocaged enzymes are realized by self-assembly into DNA nanocages with well-controlled stoichiometry and architecture that enabled a systematic study of the impact of both encapsulation and proximal polyanionic surfaces on a set of common metabolic enzymes. Activity assays at both bulk and single-molecule levels demonstrate increased substrate turnover numbers for DNA nanocage-encapsulated enzymes. Unexpectedly, we observe a significant inverse correlation between the size of a protein and its activity enhancement. This effect is consistent with a model wherein distal polyanionic surfaces of the nanocage enhance the stability of active enzyme conformations through the action of a strongly bound hydration layer. We further show that DNA nanocages protect encapsulated enzymes against proteases, demonstrating their practical utility in functional biomaterials and biotechnology.

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Date Created
  • 2016-02-10

PEGylation of DNA Nanostructures Using Uncatalyzed Click Chemistry

Description

Using DNA nanotechnology a library of structures of various geometries have been built; these structures are modified chemically and/or enzymatically at nanometer precisions. With DNA being chemically very stable, these

Using DNA nanotechnology a library of structures of various geometries have been built; these structures are modified chemically and/or enzymatically at nanometer precisions. With DNA being chemically very stable, these structures can be functionalized through an abundance of well-established protocols. Additionally, they can be used for various biological and medicinal purposes, such as drug delivery. For in vivo applications, the DNA nanostructures must have a long circulation life in the bloodstream; otherwise, they could be easily excreted shortly after entry. One way of making these nanostructures long lasting in the blood is to cover them with the biocompatible polymer, polyethylene glycol (PEG). Adding DNA to PEG before forming structures has been found to interfere in the hybridization of the DNA in the structure, resulting in formation of deformed structures. In this study we have developed a new methodology based on "click chemistry" (CC) to modify the surface of DNA nanostructures with PEG after they are formed. These structures can then be used for in vivo studies and potential applications in the future.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Multi-enzyme complexes on DNA scaffolds capable of substrate channelling with an artificial swinging arm

Description

Swinging arms are a key functional component of multistep catalytic transformations in many naturally occurring multi-enzyme complexes. This arm is typically a prosthetic chemical group that is covalently attached to

Swinging arms are a key functional component of multistep catalytic transformations in many naturally occurring multi-enzyme complexes. This arm is typically a prosthetic chemical group that is covalently attached to the enzyme complex via a flexible linker, allowing the direct transfer of substrate molecules between multiple active sites within the complex. Mimicking this method of substrate channelling outside the cellular environment requires precise control over the spatial parameters of the individual components within the assembled complex. DNA nanostructures can be used to organize functional molecules with nanoscale precision and can also provide nanomechanical control. Until now, protein–DNA assemblies have been used to organize cascades of enzymatic reactions by controlling the relative distance and orientation of enzymatic components or by facilitating the interface between enzymes/cofactors and electrode surfaces. Here, we show that a DNA nanostructure can be used to create a multi-enzyme complex in which an artificial swinging arm facilitates hydride transfer between two coupled dehydrogenases. By exploiting the programmability of DNA nanostructures, key parameters including position, stoichiometry and inter-enzyme distance can be manipulated for optimal activity.

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Date Created
  • 2014-07-01

A DNA-Directed Light-Harvesting/Reaction Center System

Description

A structurally and compositionally well-defined and spectrally tunable artificial light-harvesting system has been constructed in which multiple organic dyes attached to a three-arm-DNA nanostructure serve as an antenna conjugated to

A structurally and compositionally well-defined and spectrally tunable artificial light-harvesting system has been constructed in which multiple organic dyes attached to a three-arm-DNA nanostructure serve as an antenna conjugated to a photosynthetic reaction center isolated from Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1. The light energy absorbed by the dye molecules is transferred to the reaction center, where charge separation takes place. The average number of DNA three-arm junctions per reaction center was tuned from 0.75 to 2.35. This DNA-templated multichromophore system serves as a modular light-harvesting antenna that is capable of being optimized for its spectral properties, energy transfer efficiency, and photostability, allowing one to adjust both the size and spectrum of the resulting structures. This may serve as a useful test bed for developing nanostructured photonic systems.

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  • 2014-11-26

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Nanomedical Treatments for Cancer: Breakthroughs and Challenges

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The purpose of this project is to analyze the current state of cancer nanomedicine and its challenges. Cancer is the second most deadly illness in the United States after heart

The purpose of this project is to analyze the current state of cancer nanomedicine and its challenges. Cancer is the second most deadly illness in the United States after heart disease. Nanomedicine, the use of materials between 1 and 100 nm to for the purpose of addressing healthcare-related problems, is particularly suited for treating it since nanoparticles have properties such as high surface area-to-volume ratios and favorable drug release profiles that make them more suitable for tasks such as consistent drug delivery to tumor tissue. The questions posed are: What are the current nanomedical treatments for cancer? What are the technical, social, and legal challenges related to nanomedical treatments and how can they be overcome? To answer the questions mentioned above, information from several scientific papers on nanomedical treatments for cancer as well as from social science journals was synthesized. Based on the findings, nanomedicine has a wide range of applications for cancer drug delivery, detection, and immunotherapy. The main technical challenge related to nanomedical treatments is navigating through biological barriers such as the mononuclear phagocyte system, the kidney, the blood-brain barrier, and the tumor microenvironment. Current approaches to meeting this challenge include altering the size, shape, and charge of nanoparticles for easier passage. The main social and legal challenge related to nanomedical treatments is the difficulty of regulating them due to factors such as the near impossibility of detecting nanowaste. Current approaches to meeting this challenge include the use of techniques such as scanning tunneling microscopy and atomic force microscopy to help distinguish nanowaste from the surroundings. More research will have to be done in these and other areas to enhance a major cancer-fighting tool.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Thermodynamics and biological applications of DNA nanostructures

Description

DNA nanotechnology is one of the most flourishing interdisciplinary research fields. Through the features of programmability and predictability, DNA nanostructures can be designed to self-assemble into a variety of periodic

DNA nanotechnology is one of the most flourishing interdisciplinary research fields. Through the features of programmability and predictability, DNA nanostructures can be designed to self-assemble into a variety of periodic or aperiodic patterns of different shapes and length scales, and more importantly, they can be used as scaffolds for organizing other nanoparticles, proteins and chemical groups. By leveraging these molecules, DNA nanostructures can be used to direct the organization of complex bio-inspired materials that may serve as smart drug delivery systems and in vitro or in vivo bio-molecular computing and diagnostic devices. In this dissertation I describe a systematic study of the thermodynamic properties of complex DNA nanostructures, including 2D and 3D DNA origami, in order to understand their assembly, stability and functionality and inform future design endeavors. It is conceivable that a more thorough understanding of DNA self-assembly can be used to guide the structural design process and optimize the conditions for assembly, manipulation, and functionalization, thus benefiting both upstream design and downstream applications. As a biocompatible nanoscale motif, the successful integration, stabilization and separation of DNA nanostructures from cells/cell lysate suggests its potential to serve as a diagnostic platform at the cellular level. Here, DNA origami was used to capture and identify multiple T cell receptor mRNA species from single cells within a mixed cell population. This demonstrates the potential of DNA nanostructure as an ideal nano scale tool for biological applications.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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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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Liquid-phase exfoliation and applications of pristine two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides and metal diborides

Description

Ultrasonication-mediated liquid-phase exfoliation has emerged as an efficient method for producing large quantities of two-dimensional materials such as graphene, boron nitride, and transition metal dichalcogenides. This thesis explores the use

Ultrasonication-mediated liquid-phase exfoliation has emerged as an efficient method for producing large quantities of two-dimensional materials such as graphene, boron nitride, and transition metal dichalcogenides. This thesis explores the use of this process to produce a new class of boron-rich, two-dimensional materials, namely metal diborides, and investigate their properties using bulk and nanoscale characterization methods. Metal diborides are a class of structurally related materials that contain hexagonal sheets of boron separated by metal atoms with applications in superconductivity, composites, ultra-high temperature ceramics and catalysis. To demonstrate the utility of these materials, chromium diboride was incorporated in polyvinyl alcohol as a structural reinforcing agent. These composites not only showed mechanical strength greater than the polymer itself, but also demonstrated superior reinforcing capability to previously well-known two-dimensional materials. Understanding their dispersion behavior and identifying a range of efficient dispersing solvents is an important step in identifying the most effective processing methods for the metal diborides. This was accomplished by subjecting metal diborides to ultrasonication in more than thirty different organic solvents and calculating their surface energy and Hansen solubility parameters. This thesis also explores the production and covalent modification of pristine, unlithiated molybdenum disulfide using ultrasonication-mediated exfoliation and subsequent diazonium functionalization. This approach allows a variety of functional groups to be tethered on the surface of molybdenum disulfide while preserving its semiconducting properties. The diazonium chemistry is further exploited to attach fluorescent proteins on its surface making it amenable to future biological applications. Furthermore, a general approach for delivery of anticancer drugs using pristine two-dimensional materials is also detailed here. This can be achieved by using two-dimensional materials dispersed in a non-ionic and biocompatible polymer, as nanocarriers for delivering the anticancer drug doxorubicin. The potency of this supramolecular assembly for certain types of cancer cell lines can be improved by using folic-acid-conjugated polymer as a dispersing agent due to strong binding between folic acid present on the nanocarriers and folate receptors expressed on the cells. These results show that ultrasonication-mediated liquid-phase exfoliation is an effective method for facilitating the production and diverse application of pristine two-dimensional metal diborides and transition metal dichalcogenides.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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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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Investigating the Effect of Salts and Small Molecule on Dissociation and Association Kinetics of the DNA Processivity Clamps using Fluorescence Techniques

Description

In this study, the stability of two protein homo-oligomers, the β clamp (homodimer) from E. coli and the Proliferation Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) from the yeast cell, were characterized. These

In this study, the stability of two protein homo-oligomers, the β clamp (homodimer) from E. coli and the Proliferation Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) from the yeast cell, were characterized. These clamps open through one interface by another protein called clamp loader, which helps it to encircle the DNA template strand. The β clamp protein binds with DNA polymerase and helps it to slide through the template strand and prevents its dissociation from the template strand. The questions need to be to answered in this research are, whether subunit stoichiometry contributes to the stability of the clamp proteins and how does the clamp loader open up the clamp, does it have to exert force on the clamp or does it take advantage of the dynamic behavior of the interface?

The x-ray crystallography structure of the β clamp suggests that there are oppositely charged amino acid pairs present at the interface of the dimer. They can form strong electrostatic interactions between them. However, for Proliferation Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA), there are no such charged amino acids present at its interface. High sodium chloride (NaCl) concentrations were used to disrupt the electrostatic interactions at the interface. The role of charged pairs in the clamp interface was characterized by measuring the apparent diffusion times (\tau_{app}) with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). However, the dissociation of the Proliferation Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) trimer does not depend on sodium chloride (NaCl) concentration.

In the next part of my thesis, potassium glutamate (KGlu) and glycine betaine (GB) were used to investigate their effect on the stability of both clamp proteins. FCS experiments with labeled β clamp and Proliferation Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) were performed containing different concentrations of potassium glutamate and glycine betaine in the solution, showed that the apparent diffusion time\ {(\tau}_{app}) increases with potassium glutamate and glycine betaine concentrations, which indicate clamps are forming higher-order oligomers. Solute molecules get excluded from the protein surface when the binding affinity of the protein surface for water molecules is more than solutes (potassium glutamate, and glycine betaine), which has a net stabilizing effect on the protein structure.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020