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Nat Nanotechnol. 2015 Apr;10(4):353-60. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2015.27. Epub 2015 Mar 16.

Light-emitting self-assembled peptide nucleic acids exhibit both stacking interactions and Watson-Crick base pairing.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel.
2
School of Chemistry, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel.
3
1] Partnership for Structural Biology, Institut Laue Langevin, 71 Avenue des Martyrs, Grenoble Cedex 9 38042, France [2] Faculty of Natural Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK.
4
1] Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel [2] Daniella Rich Institute for Structural Biology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel.
5
Department of Chemical Research Support, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
6
1] School of Chemistry, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel [2] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel.
7
1] Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel [2] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel.

Abstract

The two main branches of bionanotechnology involve the self-assembly of either peptides or DNA. Peptide scaffolds offer chemical versatility, architectural flexibility and structural complexity, but they lack the precise base pairing and molecular recognition available with nucleic acid assemblies. Here, inspired by the ability of aromatic dipeptides to form ordered nanostructures with unique physical properties, we explore the assembly of peptide nucleic acids (PNAs), which are short DNA mimics that have an amide backbone. All 16 combinations of the very short di-PNA building blocks were synthesized and assayed for their ability to self-associate. Only three guanine-containing di-PNAs-CG, GC and GG-could form ordered assemblies, as observed by electron microscopy, and these di-PNAs efficiently assembled into discrete architectures within a few minutes. The X-ray crystal structure of the GC di-PNA showed the occurrence of both stacking interactions and Watson-Crick base pairing. The assemblies were also found to exhibit optical properties including voltage-dependent electroluminescence and wide-range excitation-dependent fluorescence in the visible region.

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PMID:
25775151
DOI:
10.1038/nnano.2015.27
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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