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Programming the Sequential Release of DNA

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journal contribution
posted on 08.04.2020, 15:47 by Dominic Scalise, Moshe Rubanov, Katherine Miller, Leo Potters, Madeline Noble, Rebecca Schulman
This study presents a mechanism for releasing a series of different short DNA sequences from sequestered complexes, one after another, using coupled biochemical reactions. The process uses stages of coupled DNA strand-displacement reactions that first release an output molecule and then trigger the initiation of the next release stage. We demonstrate the sequential release of 25 nM of four different sequences of DNA over a day, both with and without a centralized “clock” mechanism to regulate release timing. We then demonstrate how the presence of a target input molecule can determine which of several different release pathways are activated, analogous to branching conditional statements in computer programming. This sequential release circuit offers a means to schedule downstream chemical events, such as steps in the assembly of a nanostructure, or stages in a material’s response to a stimulus.