Construction of DNA Nano Devices via "Click" Chemistry

Katrin Gutsmiedl, Christian T. Wirges, Philipp M.E. Gramlich, Johannes Gierlich, Glenn A. Burley, and Thomas Carell

Department of Organic Chemistry, Ludwigs-Maximilian-University, Butenandtstr. 5-13, 81377 Munich, Germany




The self-assembling properties of DNA render it ideal for use as a pre-programmable nano device.[1] Our research group is interested in directing metal deposition to particular sequences of DNA for the construction of DNA-templated molecular wires. To this end, modified nucleoside triphosphates have been synthesized which were designed to metallise DNA gene-specifically.[2] Metal deposition by the Tollens reaction of aldehyde-modified DNA with silver ions is then confined exclusively to the DNA strand and sequence of interest in high sensitivity. Further work is directed towards the preparation of metal patterning on DNA by ligation of aldehyde-modified strands to native DNA and subsequent metallisation of the construct under selective conditions.

As an extension of using DNA as a template we want to investigate the magnetic properties of modified DNA in which spin-active metal ions are directed to specific sequences of DNA. To achieve a DNA-based molecular magnet we synthesized a metal-chelating ligand which allows us to potentially construct magnetic chains along the major groove of DNA via click-chemistry.[3,4] Investigations into the biophysical and magnetic properties of these modified DNA strands are currently ongoing and results will be published in due course.