Albany 2013: Book of Abstracts

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

Porous three-dimensional DNA crystals as biomolecular containers for catalysis

The major goal of DNA nanotechnology has been the design and manufacture of artificial DNA structures for technological uses. The porous three-dimensional DNA crystals have been proposed as macromolecular scaffolds for host-guest structure determination, as molecular sieves, and as molecular containers for catalysis. By using fluorescence dequenching technique we have demonstrated that a protein enzyme adsorbed in a designed three-dimensional DNA crystal is capable of performing catalysis. The axially distinct aperture sizes in the crystal design allowed us to improve the enclosing of the enzyme with a protective protein-based “coating” cross-linked over the crystal surface. This coating allows entry and exit of small molecules through the crystal while restricting enzymes inside the crystal. This enzyme-enclosed DNA crystal is capable of performing multiple cycles of catalysis and it retained its enzymatic activity over numerous days after being protein-coated. The concepts of the enzyme-enclosed DNA crystal and the unique protein coating technique provide possibilities to the development of enzyme replacement therapies and biodegradable solid-state catalysts and biosensors.


This research has been supported by NSF CAREER award DMR-1149665


    Paukstelis, P. J., Nowakowski, J., Birktoft, J. J. & Seeman, N. C. Crystal structure of a continuous three-dimensional DNA lattice. Chem Biol 11, 1119-1126 (2004).

    Paukstelis, P. J. Three-dimensional DNA crystals as molecular sieves. J Am Chem Soc 128, 6794-6795 (2006).

Chun Geng
Paul J. Paukstelis

Center for Biomolecular Structure and Organization
Department of Chemistry
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Ph: (301) 455 3325
Fx: (301) 405 9377,