Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University


"Guiding the folding pathway of DNA origami" Dr. Jonathan Bath (Department of Physics, University of Oxford)


September 29, 2014 (Mon), 16:00-17:00


3F Seminar room, Nanobiology Building


Dr. Jonathan Bath
Department of Physics, University of Oxford


Guiding the folding pathway of DNA origami


Katherine E. Dunn1, Frits Dannenberg1,2, Thomas E. Ouldridge3, Marta Kwiatkowska2, Andrew J. Turberfield1 and Jonathan Bath1

  1. University of Oxford, Department of Physics, Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, U.K.
  2. University of Oxford, Department of Computer Science, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QD, U.K.
  3. University of Oxford, Department of Physics, Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, 1 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3NP, U.K.

DNA origami is a robust self-­‐assembly technique in which a single-­‐stranded template is folded into shape by annealing it with hundreds of short staple strands. DNA origami assembly has developed rapidly from 2D to 3D then, by exploiting the helicity of DNA, to twisted and curved structures. How is it that these structures fold so well? It is an interesting problem, one that presents a similar challenge to protein folding. We have designed a new type of origami tile to help us understand folding. Unlike traditional DNA origami, where each staple has a unique place in the final folded structure, the staples in our structure can bind in one of two configurations. The system has a small set of distinguishable, well-­‐folded shapes that represent discrete and approximately degenerate energy minima in a vast folding landscape. Remarkably, our origami folds in good yield to give a distribution of well-­‐folded shapes. The fact that our origami folds at all demonstrates that there are folding pathways (without a pathway there would be no chance of finding well-­‐folded structures among the vast number of mis-­‐folded structures within a reasonable time). The distribution of well-­‐folded shapes observed in our experiments provides information about individual trajectories through the folding landscape. We show that the folding pathway can be steered by design.