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Issue 13, 2020
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Engineering high-robustness DNA molecular circuits by utilizing nucleases

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Toehold-mediated strand displacement (TMSD) as an important player in DNA nanotechnology has been widely utilized for engineering non-enzymatic molecular circuits. However, these circuits suffer from uncontrollable leakage and unsatisfactory response speed. We utilized site-specific and sequence-independent nucleases to engineer high- robustness DNA molecular circuits. First, we found that the kinetics of the APE1-catalyzed reaction is highly dependent on substrate stability, allowing for the elimination of asymptotic leakage of DNA split circuits. Second, we obtained strict substrate preference of λ exonuclease (λexo) by optimizing the reaction conditions. Robust single-layer and cascade gates with leak resistance were established by using λ exo. Owing to the remarkably fast kinetics of these nucleases, all the circuits yield a high speed of computation. Compared to TMSD-based approaches, nuclease-powered circuits render advanced features such as leakage resistance, hundreds of times higher speed, and simplified structures, representing a class of promising artificial molecule systems.

Graphical abstract: Engineering high-robustness DNA molecular circuits by utilizing nucleases

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Supplementary files

Article information

23 Nov 2019
09 Mar 2020
First published
09 Mar 2020

Nanoscale, 2020,12, 6964-6970
Article type

Engineering high-robustness DNA molecular circuits by utilizing nucleases

S. Fu, N. Li, J. Li, Y. Deng, L. Xu, C. Yu and X. Su, Nanoscale, 2020, 12, 6964
DOI: 10.1039/C9NR09979D

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