Assembly of Nanoscale Scaffolds from Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNA)

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Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA has been demonstrated to be a useful scaffold for self-assembling nanomaterials. Peptide nucleic acids, or PNA, which retains the nucleic acid bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine on a pseudo-peptide backbone can provide a unique scaffold for the construction of biologically functional nanomaterials. PNA has been shown to have a lower tolerance for mismatches as well as increased stability as measured by melting temperature. Self-associated PNA systems that are compact structures based on G-tetrad formation are currently under study. Current models of G-quadruplex (multiple stacking G-tetrads) formation based on DNA are large structures containing at least 4 consecutive guanine bases. Because complementary PNA strands typically self-associate with higher affinity than DNA strands, we initially focused on the tetrad assembly properties of shorter sequences. A quadruplex containing 4 strands with 4 guanine residues in each strand occupies a volume of only about 8 nm3. Consequently, depending on the modifications, this approach should allow directed-assembly of nanomaterials with volumes in the 10 to 100 nm range.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2008: Microsystems, Photonics, Sensors, Fluidics, Modeling, and Simulation – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 3
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 677 - 680
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: Informatics, Modeling & Simulation
ISBN: 978-1-4200-8505-1