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      The effect of topology on the structure and free energy landscape of DNA kissing complexes

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          Abstract

          We use a recently developed coarse-grained model for DNA to study kissing complexes formed by hybridization of complementary hairpin loops. The binding of the loops is topologically constrained because their linking number must remain constant. By studying systems with linking numbers -1, 0 or 1 we show that the average number of interstrand base pairs is larger when the topology is more favourable for the right-handed wrapping of strands around each other. The thermodynamic stability of the kissing complex also decreases when the linking number changes from -1 to 0 to 1. The structures of the kissing complexes typically involve two intermolecular helices that coaxially stack with the hairpin stems at a parallel four-way junction.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Programming biomolecular self-assembly pathways.

          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 'reaction graph' abstraction to specify complementarity relationships between modular domains in a versatile DNA hairpin motif. Molecular programs are executed for a variety of dynamic functions: catalytic formation of branched junctions, autocatalytic duplex formation by a cross-catalytic circuit, nucleated dendritic growth of a binary molecular 'tree', and autonomous locomotion of a bipedal walker.
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            A 1.7-kilobase single-stranded DNA that folds into a nanoscale octahedron.

            Molecular self-assembly offers a means of spontaneously forming complex and well-defined structures from simple components. The specific bonding between DNA base pairs has been used in this way to create DNA-based nanostructures and to direct the assembly of material on the subnanometre to micrometre scale. In principle, large-scale clonal production of suitable DNA sequences and the directed evolution of sequence lineages towards optimized behaviour can be realized through exponential DNA amplification by polymerases. But known examples of three-dimensional geometric DNA objects are not amenable to cloning because they contain topologies that prevent copying by polymerases. Here we report the design and synthesis of a 1,669-nucleotide, single-stranded DNA molecule that is readily amplified by polymerases and that, in the presence of five 40-mer synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides, folds into an octahedron structure by a simple denaturation-renaturation procedure. We use cryo-electron microscopy to show that the DNA strands fold successfully, with 12 struts or edges joined at six four-way junctions to form hollow octahedra approximately 22 nanometres in diameter. Because the base-pair sequence of individual struts is not repeated in a given octahedron, each strut is uniquely addressable by the appropriate sequence-specific DNA binder.
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              End-to-end stacking and liquid crystal condensation of 6 to 20 base pair DNA duplexes.

              Short complementary B-form DNA oligomers, 6 to 20 base pairs in length, are found to exhibit nematic and columnar liquid crystal phases, even though such duplexes lack the shape anisotropy required for liquid crystal ordering. Structural study shows that these phases are produced by the end-to-end adhesion and consequent stacking of the duplex oligomers into polydisperse anisotropic rod-shaped aggregates, which can order into liquid crystals. Upon cooling mixed solutions of short DNA oligomers, in which only a small fraction of the DNA present is complementary, the duplex-forming oligomers phase-separate into liquid crystal droplets, leaving the unpaired single strands in isotropic solution. In a chemical environment where oligomer ligation is possible, such ordering and condensation would provide an autocatalytic link whereby complementarity promotes the extended polymerization of complementary oligomers.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                15 March 2012
                Article
                10.1063/1.4722203
                1203.3577
                8620ab5c-5dfc-4a70-80ac-a9bfcf7f51fb

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                J. Chem. Phys. 136, 215102 (2012)
                cond-mat.soft physics.bio-ph physics.chem-ph

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