Kanaras, A.G., Wang, Z.X., Bates, A.D., Cosstick, R. and Brust, M.
Towards multistep nanostructure synthesis: programmed enzymatic self-assembly of DNA/gold systems
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 42, (2), . (doi:10.1002/anie.200390075).
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The programmed self-assembly of nanostructures from well-defined units is an important aim in nanoscience.,  The use of gold nanoparticles stabilized by thiol-modified DNA is a promising approach towards this goal.- The specificity of DNA base-pairing provides a precise means of programming interactions between particles by hybridization with specifically designed linker strands. To introduce an additional level of control, we have developed a general method by which the reactivity of initially latent DNA linking sites can be switched on deliberately. We have adapted well-developed methods of molecular biology to produce a nanoscale analogue of protecting groups. We show that linking sites can be protected by hybridization with complementary strands and deprotected by cleaving these double strands at predetermined sites with restriction enzymes. This results in cohesive ends of single-stranded DNA, which can bind by hybridization to complementary sequences present in the system. In a second enzymatic step the DNA phosphodiester backbones at the hybridization sites are covalently joined using a DNA ligase. This approach represents a generic protocol that will enable multistep nanostructure syntheses.
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