Research ArticleLIFE SCIENCES

Nanoscale rotary apparatus formed from tight-fitting 3D DNA components

Science Advances  19 Feb 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 2, e1501209
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501209

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We report a nanoscale rotary mechanism that reproduces some of the dynamic properties of biological rotary motors in the absence of an energy source, such as random walks on a circle with dwells at docking sites. Our mechanism is built modularly from tight-fitting components that were self-assembled using multilayer DNA origami. The apparatus has greater structural complexity than previous mechanically interlocked objects and features a well-defined angular degree of freedom without restricting the range of rotation. We studied the dynamics of our mechanism using single-particle experiments analogous to those performed previously with actin-labeled adenosine triphosphate synthases. In our mechanism, rotor mobility, the number of docking sites, and the dwell times at these sites may be controlled through rational design. Our prototype thus realizes a working platform toward creating synthetic nanoscale rotary motors. Our methods will support creating other complex nanoscale mechanisms based on tightly fitting, sterically constrained, but mobile, DNA components.

  • Biophysics
  • rotary motors
  • self-assembly
  • single-molecule
  • DNA origami

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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