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Integrating Ligands into Nucleic Acid Systems

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

Recent advances of a novel and efficient ligand-oligonucleotide transduction platform functioned through a kinetic control upon the ligand binding are summarized and discussed in this Concept. This new strategy may provide great flexibility to integrate all kind of ligands into the sophisticated nucleic acid nanomachines for biosensors, nucleic acid computation and gene regulations.


Signal transduction from non-nucleic acid ligands (small molecules and proteins) to structural changes of nucleic acids plays a crucial role in both biomedical analysis and cellular regulations. However, how to bridge between these two types of molecules without compromising the expandable complexity and programmability of the nucleic acid nanomachines is a critical challenge. Compared with the previously most widely applied transduction strategies, we review the latest advances of a kinetically controlled approach for ligand-oligonucleotide transduction in this Concept article. This new design works through an intrinsic conformational alteration of the nucleic acid aptamer upon the ligand binding as a governing factor for nucleic acid strand displacement reactions. The functionalities and applications of this transduction system as a ligand converter on biosensing and DNA computation are described and discussed. Furthermore, we propose some potential scenarios for utilization of this ligand transduction design to regulate gene expression through synthetic RNA switches in the cellular contexts. Finally, future perspectives regarding this ligand-oligonucleotide transduction platform are also discussed.

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