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Rapid Folding of DNA into Nanoscale Shapes at Constant Temperature

Science  14 Dec 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6113, pp. 1458-1461
DOI: 10.1126/science.1229919

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Abstract

We demonstrate that, at constant temperature, hundreds of DNA strands can cooperatively fold a long template DNA strand within minutes into complex nanoscale objects. Folding occurred out of equilibrium along nucleation-driven pathways at temperatures that could be influenced by the choice of sequences, strand lengths, and chain topology. Unfolding occurred in apparent equilibrium at higher temperatures than those for folding. Folding at optimized constant temperatures enabled the rapid production of three-dimensional DNA objects with yields that approached 100%. The results point to similarities with protein folding in spite of chemical and structural differences. The possibility for rapid and high-yield assembly will enable DNA nanotechnology for practical applications.

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