3D DNA Crystals and Nanotechnology

Paul Paukstelis, Nadrian Seeman
2016 Crystals  
DNA's molecular recognition properties have made it one of the most widely used biomacromolecular construction materials. The programmed assembly of DNA oligonucleotides has been used to create complex 2D and 3D self-assembled architectures and to guide the assembly of other molecules. The origins of DNA nanotechnology are rooted in the goal of assembling DNA molecules into designed periodic arrays, i.e., crystals. Here, we highlight several DNA crystal structures, the progress made in
more » ... ss made in designing DNA crystals, and look at the current prospects and future directions of DNA crystals in nanotechnology. Crystals 2016, 6, 97 2 of 14 matter. It was originally proposed that DNA could be used as a programmable construction material for rationally designed branched junctions that could be assembled to form periodic three-dimensional crystals [12] . The crystals could serve as porous scaffolds to orient and position guest molecules, such as proteins, at specific positions (Figure 1 ), effectively making the guest an integral part of the crystal lattice. A scaffold for crystallizing proteins could provide a unique method for overcoming the macromolecular crystallization bottleneck and enable rapid structure determination, thereby enhancing and accelerating the structure-based drug design pipeline. The ability to position guest molecules in 3D would enable many applications beyond the original notion of a crystallization scaffold. 3D DNA crystals have also been envisioned as information storage devices [13], as zeolite-like materials capable of macromolecular separations [14] , and/or catalysis with appropriate functionalization [15] . Crystals 2016, 6, 97 2 of 14 organize matter. It was originally proposed that DNA could be used as a programmable construction material for rationally designed branched junctions that could be assembled to form periodic threedimensional crystals [12] . The crystals could serve as porous scaffolds to orient and position guest molecules, such as proteins, at specific positions (Figure 1 ), effectively making the guest an integral part of the crystal lattice. A scaffold for crystallizing proteins could provide a unique method for overcoming the macromolecular crystallization bottleneck and enable rapid structure determination, thereby enhancing and accelerating the structure-based drug design pipeline. The ability to position guest molecules in 3D would enable many applications beyond the original notion of a crystallization scaffold. 3D DNA crystals have also been envisioned as information storage devices [13] , as zeolitelike materials capable of macromolecular separations [14] , and/or catalysis with appropriate functionalization [15] .
doi:10.3390/cryst6080097 fatcat:k32fbfdphvdrnj7g45luxmntyy