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Synapsable quadruplex-mediated fibers

Miguel Angel Mendez12 and Veronika A Szalai13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Drive, Baltimore, MD, 21250, USA

2 Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Vía Interoceánica Km 2 1/2, Cumbayá, Quito, 17-1200-84, Ecuador

3 Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-6204, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:210  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-210

Published: 3 May 2013


We have fabricated a DNA-based nanofiber created by self-assembly of guanine quadruplex (Hoogsteen base pairing) and double-stranded DNA (Watson-Crick base pairing). When duplexes containing a long stretch of contiguous guanines and single-stranded overhangs are incubated in potassium-containing buffer, the preformed duplexes create high molecular weight species that contain quadruplexes. In addition to observation of these larger species by gel electrophoresis, solutions were analyzed by atomic force microscopy to reveal nanofibers. Analysis of the atomic force microscopy images indicates that fibers form with lengths ranging from 250 to 2,000 nm and heights from 0.45 to 4.0 nm. This work is a first step toward the creation of new structurally heterogeneous (quadruplex/duplex), yet controllable, DNA-based materials exhibiting novel properties suitable for a diverse array of nanotechnology applications.

Guanine quartet; Guanine quadruplex; Atomic force microscopy; Nanowires; Nanofibers; DNA nanomaterials; Synapsable quadruplex