FRET-Mediated Observation of Protein-Triggered Conformational Changes in DNA Nanostructures

Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2208:69-80. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0928-6_5.


DNA origami is a powerful technique, which allows virtually limitless 2D or 3D nanostructure designs to be constructed from DNA strands. Such nanostructures can even include programmable nanorobots, which are able to respond to the environment in predetermined ways. DNA aptamers hold particular promise as interfaces, which can enable proteins, peptides, and other non-nucleic acid biomolecules to trigger conformational changes in DNA nanostructures for diagnostic, biosensing, or therapeutic applications. Here, we provide the methodology for FRET-mediated observation of aptamer-triggered conformational change in a DNA origami box nanostructure. The method described can, in principle, be adapted to a wide variety of experimental circumstances where the DNA nanostructure conformational change is mediated by molecular or environmental cues.

Keywords: DNA origami; DNA–protein interaction; aptamers; molecular logic gate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / chemistry
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer / methods*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology / methods
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry*


  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • Proteins
  • DNA