We, the Dresden Nanosaurs from Germany, invite you to a ride through our quest to design a stunning nano-biomolecular system for the BIOMOD competition 2012. We propose a novel biological tethering system based on the technologies of DNA origami and vesicular transport. The illustration below describes the principle of our system.
Signal-driven tethering system
On a central giant vesicle, illustrated as a large yellow sphere, switchable DNA origami boxes are attached on its surface. In the presence of certain signal proteins, the closed DNA origami boxes get unlocked and open up. DNA single strands that were shielded before are now accessible. Therefore they can specifically hybridize with complementary strands on smaller vesicles. Hence multiple smaller vesicles can be specifically attracted to the central giant vesicle.
To better understand the different components, you may click on the images below the panel.
Below you can see some of our most appealing results: an image of the tethering of vesicles taken with LSM (Laser Scanning Microscopy) and an AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) image of the correct folding of the open DNA origami structure.