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Tunable DNA Hybridization Enables Spatially and Temporally Controlled Surface-Anchoring of Biomolecular Cargo

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journal contribution
posted on 30.08.2018, 19:44 by Roland Hager, Andreas Arnold, Eva Sevcsik, Gerhard J. Schütz, Stefan Howorka
The controlled immobilization of biomolecules onto surfaces is relevant in biosensing and cell biological research. Spatial control is achieved by surface-tethering molecules in micro- or nanoscale patterns. Yet, there is an increasing demand for temporal control over how long biomolecular cargo stays immobilized until released into the medium. Here, we present a DNA hybridization-based approach to reversibly anchor biomolecular cargo onto micropatterned surfaces. Cargo is linked to a DNA oligonucleotide that hybridizes to a sequence-complementary, surface-tethered strand. The cargo is released from the substrate by the addition of an oligonucleotide that disrupts the duplex interaction via toehold-mediated strand displacement. The unbound tether strand can be reloaded. The generic strategy is implemented with small-molecule or protein cargo, varying DNA sequences, and multiple surface patterning routes. The approach may be used as a tool in biological research to switch membrane proteins from a locally fixed to a free state, or in biosensing to shed biomolecular receptors to regenerate the sensor surface.