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 New bioinformatics platform for the genome-based taxonomical classification of bacteria and archaea
21.05.2019 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

nachricht 3D technology lets us look into the distant past
21.05.2019 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Planetologists explain how the formation of the moon brought water to Earth

21.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New Measurement Device: Carbon Dioxide As Geothermometer

21.05.2019 | Earth Sciences

New bioinformatics platform for the genome-based taxonomical classification of bacteria and archaea

21.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>