News Column

Researchers from Harvard University Detail Findings in DNA Research

June 10, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Current study results on DNA Research have been published. According to news reporting originating from Boston, Massachusetts, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Recent methods in DNA nanotechnology are enabling the creation of intricate nanostructures through the use of programmable, bottom-up self-assembly. However, structures consisting only of DNA are limited in their ability to act on other biomolecules."

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from Harvard University, "Proteins, on the other hand, perform a variety of functions on biological materials, but directed control of the self-assembly process remains a challenge. While DNA-protein hybrids have the potential to provide the best-of-both-worlds, they can be difficult to create as many of the conventional techniques for linking proteins to DNA render proteins dysfunctional. We present here a sortase-based protocol for covalently coupling proteins to DNA with minimal disturbance to protein function. To accomplish this we have developed a two-step process. First, a small synthetic peptide is bioorthogonally and covalently coupled to a DNA oligo using click chemistry. Next, the DNA-peptide chimera is covalently linked to a protein of interest under protein-compatible conditions using the enzyme sortase. Our protocol allows for the simple coupling and purification of a functional DNA-protein hybrid. We use this technique to form oligos bearing cadherin-23 and protocadherin-15 protein fragments. Upon incorporation into a linear M13 scaffold, these protein-DNA hybrids serve as the gate to a binary nanoswitch. The outlined protocol is reliable and modular, facilitating the construction of libraries of oligos and proteins that can be combined to form functional DNA-protein nanostructures."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "These structures will enable a new class of functional nanostructures, which could be used for therapeutic and industrial processes."

For more information on this research see: Protocol for sortase-mediated construction of DNA-protein hybrids and functional nanostructures. Methods, 2014;67(2):134-141. Methods can be contacted at: Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science, 525 B St, Ste 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495, USA. (Elsevier -; Methods -

The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting M.A. Koussa, Harvard University, Wyss Inst Biol Inspired Engn, Boston, MA 02115, United States. Additional authors for this research include M. Sotomayor and W.P. Wong (see also DNA Research).

Keywords for this news article include: Boston, Peptides, Proteins, Amino Acids, DNA Research, Massachusetts, United States, Nanostructural, Nanostructures, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies, North and Central America

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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