Asymmetric patterning drives the folding of a tripodal DNA nanotweezer†
DNA tweezers have emerged as powerful devices for a wide range of biochemical and sensing applications; however, most DNA tweezers consist of single units activated by DNA recognition, limiting their range of motion and ability to respond to complex stimuli. Herein, we present an extended, tripodal DNA nanotweezer with a small molecule junction. Simultaneous, asymmetric elongation of our molecular core is achieved using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to produce length- and sequence-specific DNA arms with repeating DNA regions. When rigidified, our DNA tweezer can be addressed with streptavidin-binding ligands. Full control over the number, separation, and location of these ligands enables site-specific streptavidin recognition; all three arms of the DNA nanotweezer wrap around multiple streptavidin units simultaneously. Our approach combines the simplicity of DNA tile arrays with the size regime normally provided by DNA origami, offering an integrated platform for the use of branched DNA scaffolds as structural building blocks, protein sensors, and dynamic, stimuli-responsive materials.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection