Welcome to the OpenWetWare wiki of DNA Maestros!
We, the DNA Maestros are a group of six students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati and National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) Bangalore, mentored by Dr. Yamuna Krishnan, of NCBS Bangalore.
Late last year, a group of five students at IIT Guwahati had formulated an idea for BIOMOD, and approached Dr. Yamuna Krishnan to help them convert a nascent idea into something worthy of presentation at an international competition. She agreed and invited the students over to her lab in Bangalore for experimental validation. At Bangalore, Anusuya Banerjee, a student at NCBS, joined the team- and the DNA Maestros were complete!
On this site, we have explained our work for BIOMOD 2012 in detail. Feel free to navigate our wiki, and we hope you like it.
28 October 2012
Project Title : Small molecule triggered cargo release from a designer DNA polyhedron
The unique properties of DNA such as its persistence length and specific associations enabled by Watson-Crick base pairing have helped it emerge as a powerful substrate for nanoconstruction. Three dimensional polyhedra based on DNA are emerging as strong candidates for display and delivery of small biomolecules in living systems. However, achieving controlled release of the encapsulated cargo with spatial and temporal control aided by molecular cues remains a challenge. Here, we show the controlled opening of a complex DNA polyhedron i.e the icosahedron, in response to an external trigger, namely cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP). The icosahedron is engineered with aptamers for c-di-GMP which act as locks for the icosahedral cage. In the presence of c-di-GMP, these aptameric locks remodel due to formation of tertiary structure that results in the dissociation of the icosahedron into its two constituent halves due to strand displacement. This leads to release of encapsulated internal cargo, such as fluorescent Dextran. Using various fluorescence methods such as quenching and FRET, we elucidate tight control over the opening of the DNA icosahedron. This suggests that cargo-loaded polyhedra can be integrated with naturally occuring pathways and their specific secreted molecular cues that in turn provide spatial and/or temporal control over cargo release in diverse contexts.
This is our official video. Sit back, relax and enjoy!