Read the full article here: Sci Adv. 2021 Nov; 7(48): eabj5827
Groeer, S., Schuhmann, K., Loescher, S., Walther, A. “Molecular communication relays for dynamic cross-regulation of self-sorting fibrillar self-assemblies” Sci. Adv. 7, eabj5827 (2021).
Structures in living systems cross-regulate via exchange of molecular information to assemble or disassemble on demand and in a coordinated, signal-triggered fashion. DNA strand displacement (DSD) reaction networks allow rational design of signaling and feedback loops, but combining DSD with structural nanotechnology to achieve self-reconfiguring hierarchical system states is still in its infancy. We introduce modular DSD networks with increasing amounts of regulatory functions, such as negative feedback, signal amplification, and signal thresholding, to cross-regulate the transient polymerization/depolymerization of two self-sorting DNA origami nanofibrils and nanotubes. This is achieved by concatenation of the DSD network with molecular information relays embedded on the origami tips. The two origamis exchange information and display programmable transient states observable by TEM and fluorescence spectroscopy. The programmability on the DSD and the origami level is a viable starting point toward more complex lifelike behavior of colloidal multicomponent systems featuring advanced signal processing functions.