Switchable enzyme/dnazyme cascades by the reconfiguration of DNA nanostructures

Yuwei Hu, Fuan Wang, Chun Hua Lu, Julia Girsh, Eyal Golub, Itamar Willner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Mimicking cellular transformations and signal transduction pathways by means of biocatalytic cascades proceeding in organized media is a scientific challenge. We describe two DNA machines that enable the "ON/OFF" switchable activation and deactivation of three-component biocatalytic cascades. One system consists of a reconfigurable DNA tweezers-type structure, whereas in the second system the catalytic cascade proceeds on a switchable DNA clamp scaffold. The three-component catalytic cascades consist of β-galactosidase (β-Gal), glucose oxidase (GOx), and the K+ -ion-stabilized hemin-G-quadruplex horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-mimicking DNAzyme. The hemin-G-quadruplex-bridged closed structure of the tweezers or clamp allows the biocatalytic cascades to operate (switched "ON"), whereas separation of the hemin-G-quadruplex by means of 18-crown-6-ether opens the tweezers/clamp structures, thus blocking the catalytic cascade (switched "OFF"). This study is complemented by two-component, switchable biocatalytic cascades composed of GOx and hemin-G-quadruplex assembled on hairpin-bridged DNA tweezers or clamp nanostructures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16203-16209
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number49
StatePublished - 12 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


  • G-quadruplexes
  • Machine
  • Nanostructures
  • Nucleic acid
  • Switch
  • Tweezers


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