Self-assembled DNA nanostructures for distance-dependent multivalent ligand-protein binding

Sherri Rinker, Yonggang Ke, Yan Liu, Rahul Chhabra, Hao Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

405 Scopus citations


An important goal of nanotechnology is to assemble multiple molecules while controlling the spacing between them. Of particular interest is the phenomenon of multivalency, which is characterized by simultaneous binding of multiple ligands on one biological entity to multiple receptors on another. Various approaches have been developed to engineer multivalency by linking multiple ligands together. However, the effects of well-controlled inter-ligand distances on multivalency are less well understood. Recent progress in self-assembling DNA nanostructures with spatial and sequence addressability has made deterministic positioning of different molecular species possible. Here we show that distance-dependent multivalent binding effects can be systematically investigated by incorporating multiple-affinity ligands into DNA nanostructures with precise nanometre spatial control. Using atomic force microscopy, we demonstrate direct visualization of high-affinity bivalent ligands being used as pincers to capture and display protein molecules on a nanoarray. These results illustrate the potential of using designer DNA nanoscaffolds to engineer more complex and interactive biomolecular networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-422
Number of pages5
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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