The design and engineering of nucleic acid nanoscale assemblies

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1996 Aug;6(4):519-26. doi: 10.1016/s0959-440x(96)80118-7.


It is possible to design DNA molecules that can form unusual structures and topologies. Stable DNA-branched junctions have been used to construct polyhedral catenated molecules with the connectivities of a cube and of a truncated octahedron. The truncated octahedron has been constructed following a solid-support-based methodology. Branched-DNA molecules are flexible, suggesting that triangular and deltahedral DNA objects should be favored as the components of two- and three-dimensional nucleic acid arrays. DNA polyhedra are complex catenanes. The engineering of single-stranded DNA knots and catenanes exploits the fact that a node can be equated with a half-turn of DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / chemistry
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation*


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA