Oct. 4: Prof. Hanadi Sleiman Technical Lecture @ U of T Scarborough Campus

December 31, 1969 @ 7:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Humanities Wing
University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4
John Purdy

Three-Dimensional DNA Structures for Biological and Material Applications

Professor Hanadi Sleiman, McGill University, Montreal, QC


Three-dimensional structures made of DNA hold the potential to encapsulate and release drugs, selectively encage nanomaterials, regulate the activity of proteins,and assemble networks for catalysis and biomolecule crystallization.  A number of strategies for DNA construction have been developed, through weaving together DNA strands into tiles, or stapling a DNA strand into origami structures.  Our group has been examining a different approach to build DNA nanostructures, in which synthetic molecules are used to control and modify DNA self-assembly.

We will describe the use of this approach to generate 3D-DNA structures, such as DNA cages and nanotubes, with deliberate variation of geometry, size, single- and double-stranded forms, permeability and length.  These can be dynamically switched to different internal volumes, and can be ‘opened’ or closed with specific DNA strands.  The size-selective encapsulation of gold nanoparticles within these host structures and the release of this cargo when specific DNA strands are added will be shown.  Moreover, these compact 3D-DNA structures can travel across the plasma membrane of a number of mammalian cells, without the aid of transfection reagents. The molecules shown here represent a new class of selective cellular probes and drug delivery tools, and can assist the development of nucleic acid therapeutic routes.  Finally, the use of these cages for the site-specific 3D-organization of synthetic polymer chains in their core or corona will be described.

Selected references:

a. Science, 2008, 321, 1795. b. Chem. Science, 2012, 3, 1980. c. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134 14382. d. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, 4280. e. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 2888. f. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 10212. g. Nature Chem. 2010,2, 319. h. Nature Chem., 2009, 1, 390 i.  Nature Nanotech., 2009, 4, 349.   j. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 13376.