We describe a method for the preparation of novel long (hundreds of nanometers), uniform, inter-molecular G4-DNA molecules composed of four parallel G-strands. The only long continuous G4-DNA reported so far are intra-molecular structures made of a single G-strand. To enable a tetra-molecular assembly of the G-strands we developed a novel approach based on avidin-biotin biological recognition. The steps of the G4-DNA production include: (i) Enzymatic synthesis of long poly(dG)-poly(dC) molecules with biotinylated poly(dG)-strand; (ii) Formation of a complex between avidin-tetramer and four biotinylated poly(dG)-poly(dC) molecules; (iii) Separation of the poly(dC) strands from the poly(dG)-strands, which are connected to the avidin; (iv) Assembly of the four G-strands attached to the avidin into tetra-molecular G4-DNA. The average contour length of the formed structures, as measured by AFM, is equal to that of the initial poly(dG)-poly(dC) molecules, suggesting a tetra-molecular mechanism of the G-strands assembly. The height of tetra-molecular G4-nanostructures is larger than that of mono-molecular G4-DNA molecules having similar contour length. The CD spectra of the tetra- and mono-molecular G4-DNA are markedly different, suggesting different structural organization of these two types of molecules. The tetra-molecular G4-DNA nanostructures showed clear electrical polarizability. This suggests that they may be useful for molecular electronics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the EC through contracts IST-2001-38951 (‘DNA-Based Nanowires’) and FP6-029192 (‘DNA-Based Nanodevices’). Funding to pay the Open Access publication charges for this article was provided by a European Grant FP6-029192 (‘DNA-Based Nanodevices’).