It started with Watson and Crick, but it sure didn't end there: Pitfalls and possibilities beyond the classic double helix View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2002-03

AUTHORS

Nadrian C. Seeman

ABSTRACT

The Watson-Crick double helix is perhaps themost predictable and programmable of allintermolecular interactions. In addition toits biological role in the cell, double helicalDNA is used for DNA-based computation and forDNA nanotechnology. The success of theseapplications has been based on the reliabilityof Watson-Crick base pairing, and, in thelatter case, circumventing the linearity of thedouble helix. We survey some of thealternative base pairing structures that can befound in synthetic systems, indicating motifsthat can be propagated and giving examples ofmispairing that can occur within the doublehelical context. We discuss some of the morecommon covalent modifications of nucleic acids. We also indicate the structural interplay ofspecial sequences and negative supercoiling. In addition to the caveats that wepresent involving unexpected results in nucleicacid systems, we show that the process ofreciprocal exchange and the generalization ofcomplementarity can be used to generatebranched DNA motifs for use in DNAnanotechnology or DNA-based computation. Weshow that these motifs can be used for thedirected construction of DNA objects, for thegeneration of specific designed patterns intwo-dimensional lattices, for computation byself-assembly, and for the fabrication ofDNA-based nanodevices. The use ofnon-Watson-Crick DNA leads inherently both toerrors and to thrilling possibilities. Successfully juggling these aspects ofgeneralized nucleic acid structure is anexciting challenge to investigators in thearea. More... »

PAGES

53-84

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1023/a:1015055810719

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/a:1015055810719

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55 schema:description The Watson-Crick double helix is perhaps themost predictable and programmable of allintermolecular interactions. In addition toits biological role in the cell, double helicalDNA is used for DNA-based computation and forDNA nanotechnology. The success of theseapplications has been based on the reliabilityof Watson-Crick base pairing, and, in thelatter case, circumventing the linearity of thedouble helix. We survey some of thealternative base pairing structures that can befound in synthetic systems, indicating motifsthat can be propagated and giving examples ofmispairing that can occur within the doublehelical context. We discuss some of the morecommon covalent modifications of nucleic acids. We also indicate the structural interplay ofspecial sequences and negative supercoiling. In addition to the caveats that wepresent involving unexpected results in nucleicacid systems, we show that the process ofreciprocal exchange and the generalization ofcomplementarity can be used to generatebranched DNA motifs for use in DNAnanotechnology or DNA-based computation. Weshow that these motifs can be used for thedirected construction of DNA objects, for thegeneration of specific designed patterns intwo-dimensional lattices, for computation byself-assembly, and for the fabrication ofDNA-based nanodevices. The use ofnon-Watson-Crick DNA leads inherently both toerrors and to thrilling possibilities. Successfully juggling these aspects ofgeneralized nucleic acid structure is anexciting challenge to investigators in thearea.
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