Letter abstract


Nature Nanotechnology 4, 249 - 254 (2009)
Published online: 29 March 2009 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2009.50

Subject Categories: Molecular self-assembly | Structural properties

Enzyme cascades activated on topologically programmed DNA scaffolds

Ofer I. Wilner1, Yossi Weizmann1, Ron Gill1, Oleg Lioubashevski1, Ronit Freeman1 & Itamar Willner1


The ability of DNA to self-assemble into one-, two- and three-dimensional nanostructures1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, combined with the precision that is now possible when positioning nanoparticles15, 16, 17, 18, 19 or proteins20, 21, 22, 23, 24 on DNA scaffolds, provide a promising approach for the self-organization of composite nanostructures25, 26, 27. Predicting and controlling the functions that emerge in self-organized biomolecular nanostructures is a major challenge in systems biology, and although a number of innovative examples have been reported28, 29, 30, the emergent properties of systems in which enzymes are coupled together have not been fully explored. Here, we report the self-assembly of a DNA scaffold made of DNA strips that include ‘hinges’ to which biomolecules can be tethered. We attach either two enzymes or a cofactor–enzyme pair to the scaffold, and show that enzyme cascades or cofactor-mediated biocatalysis can proceed effectively; similar processes are not observed in diffusion-controlled homogeneous mixtures of the same components. Furthermore, because the relative position of the two enzymes or the cofactor–enzyme pair is determined by the topology of the DNA scaffold, it is possible to control the reactivity of the system through the design of the individual DNA strips. This method could lead to the self-organization of complex multi-enzyme cascades.

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  1. Institute of Chemistry and The Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

Correspondence to: Itamar Willner1 e-mail: willnea@vms.huji.ac.il



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