Peng Yin, Harry M.T. Choi, Colby R. Calvert, Niles A. Pierce
Nature, 451:318-322, 2008
Downloads: PDF, 6 pages.
In nature, self-assembling and disassembling complexes of proteins and nucleic acids bound to a variety of ligands
perform intricate and diverse dynamic functions. In contrast, attempts to rationally encode structure and function
into synthetic amino acid and nucleic acid sequences have largely focused on engineering molecules that
self-assemble into prescribed target structures, rather than on engineering transient system dynamics. To
design systems that perform dynamic functions without human
intervention, it is necessary to encode within the biopolymer
sequences the reaction pathways by which self-assembly occurs.
Nucleic acids show promise as a design medium for engineering
dynamic functions, including catalytic hybridization, triggered
self-assembly and molecular computation. Here, we program
diverse molecular self-assembly and disassembly pathways using a
â€˜reaction graphâ€™ abstraction to specify complementarity relationships
between modular domains in a versatile DNA hairpin motif. Molecular programs are executed for a variety of dynamic
catalytic formation of branched junctions, autocatalytic duplex formation by a cross-catalytic circuit, nucleated
dendritic growth of a binary molecular â€˜treeâ€™, and
autonomous locomotion of a bipedal walker.
Supplementary material:PDF, 50 pages
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