An ion-controlled four-color fluorescent telomeric switch on DNA origami structures†
The folding of single-stranded telomeric DNA into guanine (G) quadruplexes is a conformational change that plays a major role in sensing and drug targeting. The telomeric DNA can be placed on DNA origami nanostructures to make the folding process extremely selective for K+ ions even in the presence of high Na+ concentrations. Here, we demonstrate that the K+-selective G-quadruplex formation is reversible when using a cryptand to remove K+ from the G-quadruplex. We present a full characterization of the reversible switching between single-stranded telomeric DNA and G-quadruplex structures using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between the dyes fluorescein (FAM) and cyanine3 (Cy3). When attached to the DNA origami platform, the G-quadruplex switch can be incorporated into more complex photonic networks, which is demonstrated for a three-color and a four-color FRET cascade from FAM over Cy3 and Cy5 to IRDye700 with G-quadruplex-Cy3 acting as a switchable transmitter.