Guided Assembly Of Tetramolecular G-Quadruplexes

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ACS Nano


Nucleic acids are finding applications in nanotechnology as nanomaterials, mechanical devices, templates, and biosensors. G-quadruplex DNA, formed by pi-pi stacking of guanine (G) quartets, is an attractive alternative to regular B-DNA because of the kinetic and thermodynamic stability of quadruplexes. However, they suffer from a fatal flaw: the rules of recognition, i.e., the formation of a G-quartet in which four identical bases are paired, prevent the controlled assembly between different strands, leading to complex mixtures. In this report, we present the solution to this recognition problem. The proposed design combines two DNA elements: parallel-stranded duplexes and a quadruplex core. Parallel-stranded duplexes direct controlled assembly of the quadruplex core, and their strands present convenient points of attachments for potential modifiers. The exceptional stability of the quadruplex core provides integrity to the entire structure, which could be used as a building block for nucleic acid-based nanomaterials. As a proof of principle for the design's versatility, we assembled quadruplex-based 10 structures and visualized them using atomic force and transmission electron microscopy. Our findings pave the way to broader utilization of G-quadruplex DNA in structural DNA nanomaterials.

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