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Issue 10, 2019
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Programming in situ accelerated DNA walkers in diffusion-limited microenvironments

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Abstract

Macromolecule diffusion in cellular microenvironments dictates the kinetics of biochemical processes, yet inevitably limiting the assembly and operation of biomimetic motors. Herein we program in situ accelerated DNA walkers in diffusion-limited microenvironments such as molecularly crowded solutions and cytoplasm. All DNA components, including single-foot walkers, chemically damaged tracks and calibration elements, are anchored on individual gold nanoparticles. Two endogenous enzymes participating in base repair pathways are used to actuate on-particle walking via a base excision/hydrolyzation coupled reaction. The walkers are in situ driven without requiring external drivers and accelerated several times. They also avoid low-efficiency diffusion/assembly procedures and respond to heterogeneous cellular milieus with calibration function. We further regulated the walking kinetics via DNA densities and sets of enzymes, and demonstrated cytoplasmic behaviors of three kinds of walkers. They were utilized to profile DNA repair pathways and monitor enzyme catalysis in living cells.

Graphical abstract: Programming in situ accelerated DNA walkers in diffusion-limited microenvironments

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Nov 2018, accepted on 22 Jan 2019 and first published on 22 Jan 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05302B
Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 3103-3109
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Programming in situ accelerated DNA walkers in diffusion-limited microenvironments

    F. Chen, J. Xue, M. Bai, J. Qin and Y. Zhao, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 3103
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05302B

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