Authors: T. Husk Jr., D.E. Bergstrom
Affilation: Purdue University, United States
Pages: 677 - 680
Keywords: self-assembly, PNA, nanoparticle, quadruplex
Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA has been demonstrated to be a useful scaffold for self-assembling nanomaterials. Peptide nucleic acids, or PNA, which retains the nucleic acid bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine on a pseudo-peptide backbone can provide a unique scaffold for the construction of biologically functional nanomaterials. PNA has been shown to have a lower tolerance for mismatches as well as increased stability as measured by melting temperature. Self-associated PNA systems that are compact structures based on G-tetrad formation are currently under study. Current models of G-quadruplex (multiple stacking G-tetrads) formation based on DNA are large structures containing at least 4 consecutive guanine bases. Because complementary PNA strands typically self-associate with higher affinity than DNA strands, we initially focused on the tetrad assembly properties of shorter sequences. A quadruplex containing 4 strands with 4 guanine residues in each strand occupies a volume of only about 8 nm3. Consequently, depending on the modifications, this approach should allow directed-assembly of nanomaterials with volumes in the 10 to 100 nm range.