Coordinated chemomechanical cycles: a mechanism for autonomous molecular motion

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Dec 5;101(23):238101. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.238101. Epub 2008 Dec 3.


The second law of thermodynamics requires that directed motion be accompanied by dissipation of energy. Here we demonstrate the working principles of a bipedal molecular motor. The motor is constructed from DNA and is driven by the hybridization of a DNA fuel. We show how the catalytic activities of the feet can be coordinated to create a Brownian ratchet that is in principle capable of directional and processive movement along a track. This system can be driven away from equilibrium, demonstrating the potential of the motor to do work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Catalysis
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Thermodynamics


  • DNA