Sequence-based engineering of dynamic functions of micrometer-sized DNA droplets

Yusuke Sato, Tetsuro Sakamoto, Masahiro Takinoue

Science Advances 6, eaba3471 (2020). DOI:10.1126/sciadv.aba3471

DNA has the potential to achieve a controllable macromolecular structure, such as hydrogels or droplets formed through liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS), as the design of its base sequence can result in programmable interactions. Here, we constructed “DNA droplets” via LLPS of sequence-designed DNA nanostructures and controlled their dynamic functions by designing their sequences. Specifically, we were able to adjust the temperature required for the formation of DNA droplets by designing the sequences. In addition, the fusion, fission, and formation of Janus-shaped droplets were controlled by sequence design and enzymatic reactions. Furthermore, modifications of proteins with sequence-designed DNAs allowed for their capture into specific droplets. Overall, our results provide a platform for designing and controlling macromolecular droplets via the information encoded in component molecules and pave the way for various applications of sequence-designed DNA such as cell mimics, synthetic membraneless organelles, and artificial molecular systems.

About Lulu Qian (54 Articles)
President of ISNSCE Professor of Bioengineering California Institute of Technology