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Contact: Joe Caspermeyer
Arizona State University

A New Achievement in the Fast-Growing Field of DNA Nanotechnology


Remaking an artificial enzyme pair in the test tube and having it work outside the cell is a big challenge for DNA nanotechnology.

To meet the challenge, they first made a DNA scaffold that looks like several paper towel rolls glued together. Using a computer program, they were able to customize the chemical building blocks of the DNA sequence so that the scaffold would self-assemble. Next, the two enzymes were attached to the ends of the DNA tubes.

In the middle of the DNA scaffold, they affixed a single strand of DNA, with the NAD+ tethered to the end like a ball and string. Yan refers to this as a swinging arm, which is long, flexible and dexterous enough to rock back and forth between the enzymes.

Credit: Jason Drees, The Biodesign Institute at ASU

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Related news release: DNA nanotechnology places enzyme catalysis within an arm's length

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