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Nat Commun. 2016 Mar 18;7:10935. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10935.

Regulation at a distance of biomolecular interactions using a DNA origami nanoactuator.

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Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Department of Neuroscience, Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS Unité Mixte de Recherche UMR 5203, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, INSERM U1191, 141 rue de la Cardonille, F-34000 Montpellier, France.
Université de Montpellier, F-34000 Montpellier, France.


The creation of nanometre-sized structures that exhibit controllable motions and functions is a critical step towards building nanomachines. Recent developments in the field of DNA nanotechnology have begun to address these goals, demonstrating complex static or dynamic nanostructures made of DNA. Here we have designed and constructed a rhombus-shaped DNA origami 'nanoactuator' that uses mechanical linkages to copy distance changes induced on one half ('the driver') to be propagated to the other half ('the mirror'). By combining this nanoactuator with split enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP), we have constructed a DNA-protein hybrid nanostructure that demonstrates tunable fluorescent behaviours via long-range allosteric regulation. In addition, the nanoactuator can be used as a sensor that responds to specific stimuli, including changes in buffer composition and the presence of restriction enzymes or specific nucleic acids.

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