Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Precision Folds

03.02.2012
Zinc-finger proteins act as site-specific adapters for DNA-origami structures

DNA is not merely a carrier of genetic information; DNA is a useful building material for nanoscale structures. In a way similar to origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, a long single strand of DNA can be folded into nearly any three-dimensional shape desired with the use of short DNA fragments.


The DNA nanostructure can also be equipped with specific docking sites for proteins. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a team led by Takashi Morii at the University of Kyoto (Japan) has now introduced a new method for attaching the proteins by means of special “adapters” known as zinc-finger proteins.

Physiological processes and chemical reactions in cells are highly specific and take place in several reaction steps. Multiple enzymes must cooperate in order to catalyze the sequential steps of the required chemical transformations – and are much more efficient at it than synthetic systems. The natural systems can only be effectively imitated if the individual enzymes and factors have the correct relative orientations in space. DNA-origami structures can be used as “molecular switchboards” to arrange enzymes and other proteins with nanometer-scale precision.

Various methods for binding proteins to DNA-origami structures have previously been developed, but in most cases they require modification of the protein. “A method based only on proteins is desirable,” says Morii, “because it would simplify and accelerate the binding of proteins to the origami.”

Morii and his team settled on the use of zinc-finger proteins as “adapters”. A polypeptide chain of zinc-finger protein grabs a zinc ion to form a stable compact fold; this fold referred to as a “zinc finger” and can bind to specific DNA patterns. It is possible to make zinc fingers that recognize any DNA pattern desired.

The scientists produced rectangular origami structures with several defined cavities. At these locations, the origamis contain various DNA-recognition patterns for different zinc fingers. The researchers then made proteins that contain zinc-finger units at one end and a fluorescing protein or biotin molecule at the other end. Biotin binds specifically to the large protein streptavidin. Atomic force microscopic images show that the streptavidin molecules always bind specifically to the intended cavity in the origami rectangle.

“Our results demonstrate that zinc fingers are suitable site-selective adapters for targeting specific locations within DNA-origami structures,” says Morii. “Several different adapters carrying different proteins can independently bind at defined locations on this type of nanostructure.”

About the Author
Dr Takashi Morii is a Professor at Kyoto University with appointments at the Institute of Advanced Energy. His main specialty are bioorganic chemistry, chemical biology, and the development of technologies in constructing functional biomacromolecules.
Author: Takashi Morii, Kyoto University (Japan), http://akweb.iae.kyoto-u.ac.jp/material/en/index.html
Title: Zinc-Finger Proteins for Site-Specific Protein Positioning on DNA-Origami Structures

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201108199

Takashi Morii | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://akweb.iae.kyoto-u.ac.jp/material/en/index.html

Further reports about: DNA DNA fragment DNA-origami Precision Protein Takashi chemical reaction

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation

12.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>