Design and Construction of a One- Dimensional DNA Track for an Artificial Molecular Motor

Suzana Kovacic, Laleh Samii, Derek N. Woolfson, Paul M. G. Curmi, Heiner Linke, Nancy R. Forde, Gerhard A. Blab

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DNA is a versatile heteropolymer that shows great potential as a building block for a diverse array of nanostructures. We present here a solution to the problem of designing and synthesizing a DNA-based nanostructure that will serve as the track along which an artificial molecular motor processes. This one-dimensional DNA track exhibits periodically repeating elements that provide specific binding sites for the molecular motor. Besides these binding elements, additional sequences are necessary to label specific regions within the DNA track and to facilitate track construction. Designing an ideal DNA track sequence presents a particular challenge because of the many variable elements that greatly expand the number of potential sequences from which the ideal sequence must be chosen. In order to find a suitable DNA sequence, we have adapted a genetic algorithm which is well suited for a large but sparse search space. This algorithm readily identifies long DNA sequences that include all the necessary elements to both facilitate DNA track construction and to present appropriate binding sites for the molecular motor. We have successfully experimentally incorporated the sequence identified by the algorithm into a long DNA track meeting the criteria for observation of the molecular motor's activity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109238
JournalJournal of Nanomaterials
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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