A single-stranded architecture for cotranscriptional folding of RNA nanostructures

By:Geary, C (Geary, Cody)[ 1,2 ] ; Rothemund, PWK (Rothemund, Paul W. K.)[ 3 ] ; Andersen, ES (Andersen, Ebbe S.)[ 1,2 ]

  • Volume: 345, Issue: 6198, Pages: 799-804

  • DOI: 10.1126/science.1253920
  • Published: AUG 15 2014
  • View Journal Information


Artificial DNA and RNA structures have been used as scaffolds for a variety of nanoscale devices. In comparison to DNA structures, RNA structures have been limited in size, but they also have advantages: RNA can fold during transcription and thus can be genetically encoded and expressed in cells. We introduce an architecture for designing artificial RNA structures that fold from a single strand, in which arrays of antiparallel RNA helices are precisely organized by RNA tertiary motifs and a new type of crossover pattern. We constructed RNA tiles that assemble into hexagonal lattices and demonstrated that lattices can be made by annealing and/or cotranscriptional folding. Tiles can be scaled up to 660 nucleotides in length, reaching a size comparable to that of large natural ribozymes.

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