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Albany 2013: Book of Abstracts

category image Albany 2013
Conversation 18
June 11-15 2013
©Adenine Press (2012)

An artificial active DNA transporter from biological building blocks

The selective transport of molecules across membrane pores is an essential biological process that occurs in all living organisms. Examples include the chaperone of proteins and mRNA in and out the cell nucleus mediated by the nuclear pore complex (NPC) and the transport of specific molecules across a biological membrane mediated by active and passive transporters.

Here I describe an artificial DNA transporter that is formed by incorporating a DNA carrier element atop a biological nanopore imbedded in a lipid bilayer. This device is able to transport specific DNA strands across a biological membrane mediated by a simple reaction mechanism based on DNA strand displacement. Similar to biological secondary active transporters, this system uses an electrochemical potential difference to pump a specific substrate across a biological membrane at a constant transmembrane potential. Our DNA actuator might be used to separate or concentrate nucleic acids, or to vehicle genetic information across biological membranes.

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This research has been supported by the European Research Council (European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme, project n° 260884).

Lorenzo Franceschini
Misha Soskine
Giovanni Maglia

Department of Chemistry
University of Leuven
Leuven, 3001 Belgium

Ph: +32(016) 327 696
giovanni.maglia@kuleuven.be