News Column

Findings on DNA Research Described by M. Langecker and Colleagues (DNA Nanostructures Interacting with Lipid Bilayer Membranes)

July 22, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Current study results on DNA Research have been published. According to news originating from Munich, Germany, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "CONSPECTUS: DNA has been previously shown to be useful as a material for the fabrication of static nanoscale objects, and also for the realization of dynamic molecular devices and machines. In many cases, nucleic acid assemblies directly mimic biological structures, for example, cytoskeletal filaments, enzyme scaffolds, or molecular motors, and many of the applications envisioned for such structures involve the study or imitation of biological processes, and even the interaction with living cells and organisms."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research, "An essential feature of biological systems is their elaborate structural organization and compartmentalization, and this most often involves membranous structures that are formed by dynamic assemblies of lipid molecules. Imitation of or interaction with biological systems using the tools of DNA nanotechnology thus ultimately and necessarily also involves interactions with lipid membrane structures, and thus the creation of DNA lipid hybrid assemblies. Due to their differing chemical nature, however, highly charged nucleic acids and amphiphilic lipids do not seem the best match for the construction of such systems, and in fact they are rarely found in nature. In recent years, however, a large variety of lipid-interacting DNA conjugates were developed, which are now increasingly being applied also for the realization of DNA nanostructures interacting with lipid bilayer membranes. In this Account, we will present the current state of this emerging class of nanosystems. After a brief overview of the basic biophysical and biochemical properties of lipids and lipid bilayer membranes, we will discuss how DNA molecules can interact with lipid membranes through electrostatic interactions or via covalent modification with hydrophobic moieties. We will then show how such DNA lipid interactions have been utilized for the realization of DNA nanostructures attached to or embedded within lipid bilayer membranes. Under certain conditions, DNA nanostructures remain mobile on membranes and can dynamically associate into higher order complexes. Hydrophobic modification of DNA nanostructures can further result in intra-or intermolecular aggregation, which can also be utilized as a structural switching mechanism. Appropriate design and chemical modification even allows insertion of DNA nanostructures into lipid bilayer membranes, resulting in artificial ion channel mimics made from DNA. Interactions of DNA nanodevices with living cells also involve interactions with membrane structures. DNA-based nanostructures can be directed to cell surfaces via antibody antigen interactions, and their cellular uptake can be stimulated by modification with appropriate receptor ligands."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "In the future, membrane-embedded DNA nanostructures are expected to find application in diverse areas ranging from basic biological research over nanotechnology to synthetic biology."

For more information on this research see: DNA Nanostructures Interacting with Lipid Bilayer Membranes. Accounts of Chemical Research, 2014;47(6):1807-1815. Accounts of Chemical Research can be contacted at: Amer Chemical Soc, 1155 16TH St, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. (American Chemical Society -; Accounts of Chemical Research -

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from M. Langecker, Nanosyst Initiat Munich, D-80539 Munich, Germany. Additional authors for this research include V. Arnaut, J. List and F.C. Simmel (see also DNA Research).

Keywords for this news article include: Munich, Europe, Germany, DNA Research, Nanostructural, Nanostructures, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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