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Molecular Threading and Tunable Molecular Recognition on DNA Origami Nanostructures

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journal contribution
posted on 21.08.2013 by Na Wu, Daniel M. Czajkowsky, Jinjin Zhang, Jianxun Qu, Ming Ye, Dongdong Zeng, Xingfei Zhou, Jun Hu, Zhifeng Shao, Bin Li, Chunhai Fan
The DNA origami technology holds great promise for the assembly of nanoscopic technological devices and studies of biochemical reactions at the single-molecule level. For these, it is essential to establish well controlled attachment of functional materials to predefined sites on the DNA origami nanostructures for reliable measurements and versatile applications. However, the two-sided nature of the origami scaffold has shown limitations in this regard. We hypothesized that holes of the commonly used two-dimensional DNA origami designs are large enough for the passage of single-stranded (ss)-DNA. Sufficiently long ssDNA initially located on one side of the origami should thus be able to “thread” to the other side through the holes in the origami sheet. By using an origami sheet attached with patterned biotinylated ssDNA spacers and monitoring streptavidin binding with atomic force microscopic (AFM) imaging, we provide unambiguous evidence that the biotin ligands positioned on one side have indeed threaded through to the other side. Our finding reveals a previously overlooked critical design feature that should provide new interpretations to previous experiments and new opportunities for the construction of origami structures with new functional capabilities.