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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 May 7;130(18):5846-7. doi: 10.1021/ja800079j. Epub 2008 Apr 12.

Synthesis of two mirror image 4-helix junctions derived from glycerol nucleic acid.

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Center for BioOptical Nanotechnology, Biodesign Institute, and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287-1604, USA.


Structural DNA nanotechnology relies on Watson-Crick base pairing rules to assemble DNA motifs into diverse arrangements of geometric shapes and patterns. While substantial effort has been devoted to expanding the programmability of natural DNA, considerably less attention has been given to the development of nucleic acid structures based on non-natural DNA polymers. Here we describe the use of glycerol nucleic acid (GNA), a simple polymer based on an acyclic repeating unit, as an alternative genetic material for assembling nucleic acid nanostructures independent of RNA or DNA recognition. We synthesized two 4-helix junctions based entirely on GNA self-pairing and showed that GNA provides easy access to highly stable nanostructures with left- and right-handed helical configurations.

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