Synthetic, biofunctional nucleic acid-based molecular devices
Structural DNA nanotechnology seeks to create architectures of highly precise dimensions using the physical property that short lengths of DNA behave as rigid rods and the chemical property of Watson–Crick base-pairing that acts as a specific molecular glue with which such rigid rods may be joined. Thus DNA has been used as a molecular scale construction material to make molecular devices that can be broadly classified under two categories (i) rigid scaffolds and (ii) switchable architectures. This review details the growing impact of such synthetic nucleic acid based molecular devices in biology and biotechnology. Notably, a significant trend is emerging that integrates morphology-rich nucleic acid motifs and alternative molecular glues into DNA and RNA architectures to achieve biological functionality.
► Incorporation of non-Watson–Crick based functional glues. ► Integration of functional nucleic acids into DNA architectures for biological applications. ► Blending of structural RNA nanotechnology with Structural DNA nanotechnology. ► Transition from device construction and validation to functional applications.
Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 22, Issue 4, August 2011, Pages 475–484