DNAzymes in DNA Nanomachines and DNA Analysis
This chapter discusses our efforts in using DNAzymes in DNA nano-machines and DNA analysis systems. 10–23 DNAzymes can cleave specific phos-phodiester bonds in RNA. We use them to construct an autonomous DNA-RNA chimera nanomotor, which constantly extracts chemical energy from RNA substrates and transduces the energy into a mechanical motion: cycles of contraction and extension. The motor's motion can be reversibly turned on and off by a DNA analogue (brake) of the RNA substrate. Addition and removal of the brake stops and restarts, respectively, the motor's motion. Furthermore, when the RNA substrates are preorganized into a one-dimensional track, a DNAzyme can continuously move along the track so long as there are substrates available ahead. Based on a similar mechanism, a novel DNA detection system has been developed. A target DNA activates a DNAzyme to cleave RNA-containing molecular beacons (MB), which generates an enhanced fluorescence signal. A following work integrates two steps of signal amplifications: a rolling-circle amplification (RCA) to synthesize multiple copies of DNAzymes, and the DNAzymes catalyze a chemical reaction to generate a colorimetric signal. This method allows detection of DNA analytes whose concentration is as low as 1 pM.
KeywordsSignal Amplification Mechanical Motion Molecular Beacon Nanomechanical Device Inhibitory Segment
This work is supported by the NSF (EIA-0323452) and Purdue University (a start-up fund).