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Journal Article

Pseudo-complementary PNA actuators as reversible switches in dynamic DNA nanotechnology

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Ackermann, D., & Famulok, M. (2013). Pseudo-complementary PNA actuators as reversible switches in dynamic DNA nanotechnology. Nucleic acids research, 41(8), 4729-39. doi:10.1093/nar/gkt121.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-63FC-4
The structural reorganization of nanoscale DNA architectures is a fundamental aspect in dynamic DNA nanotechnology. Commonly, DNA nanoarchitectures are reorganized by means of toehold-expanded DNA sequences in a strand exchange process. Here we describe an unprecedented, toehold-free switching process that relies on pseudo-complementary peptide nucleic acid (pcPNA) by using a mechanism that involves double-strand invasion. The usefulness of this approach is demonstrated by application of these peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) as switches in a DNA rotaxane architecture. The monomers required for generating the pcPNA were obtained by an improved synthesis strategy and were incorporated into a PNA actuator sequence as well as into a short DNA strand that subsequently was integrated into the rotaxane architecture. Alternate addition of a DNA and PNA actuator sequence allowed the multiple reversible switching between a mobile rotaxane macrocycle and a stationary pseudorotaxane state. The switching occurs in an isothermal process at room temperature and is nearly quantitative in each switching step. pcPNAs can potentially be combined with light- and toehold-based switches, thus broadening the toolbox of orthogonal switching approaches for DNA architectures that open up new avenues in dynamic DNA nanotechnology.