Nanoscale DNA origami tools to study molecular machines

Wickham S

School of Chemistry, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

DNA has huge potential as a programmable building material for biocompatible nanostructures, with many applications as tools for single molecule biophysics, platforms for diagnostics and therapeutics, and templates for nanofabrication. DNA origami is a method for making a diverse range of shapes by folding up a long single-stranded DNA scaffold. Custom DNA origami nanostructures can be designed as tools for specific biophysical measurements. For example, a DNA origami nanospring, to simultaneously measure force and position of the protein motor Myosin VI during stepping. DNA nanotechnology can also be used to build and test synthetic molecular machines, inspired by their biological counterparts. For example a molecular motor that can transport cargo through a maze of tracks. DNA origami structures can also serve as the substrate for future hybrid machines, which integrate functional protein components with synthetic DNA scaffolds.