Effects of nanoscale confinement on the functionality of nucleic acids: Implications for nanomedicine

M. Castronovo, A. Stopar, L. Coral, S. K. Redhu, M. Vidonis, V. Kumar, F. Del Ben, M. Grassi, A. W. Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The facile self-assembly and nanomanipulation of nucleic acids hold great promise in the design of innovative, programmable materials, with applications ranging from biosensing to cellular targeting and drug delivery. Little is known, however, of the effects of confinement on biochemical reactions within such systems, in which the level of packing and crowding is similar to that of intracellular environments. In this review article we outline novel, unexpected properties of nucleic acids that arise from nanoscale confinement, as mainly revealed by atomic force and electron microscopy, electrochemistry, fluorescence spectroscopy, and gel electrophoresis. We review selected scientific studies over the last decade that describe the novel behavior of nanoconfined nucleic acids with respect to hybridization, denaturation, conformation, stability, and enzyme accessibility. The nanoscale systems discussed include self-assembled, water-soluble, DNA or RNA nanostructures, ranging in width from a few to several tens of nm; gold nanoparticles coated with DNA monolayers; and self-assembled monolayers of DNA, from a few to several hundreds of bp in length. These studies reveal that the functionality of nucleic acid-based nanosystems is highly dependent upon the local density, molecular flexibility and network of weak interactions between adjacent molecules. These factors significantly affect steric hindrance, molecular crowding and hydration, which in turn control nucleic acid hybridization, denaturation, conformation, and enzyme accessibility. The findings discussed in this review article demonstrate that nucleic acids function in a qualitatively different manner within nanostructured systems, and suggest that these novel properties, if better understood, will enable the development of powerful molecular tools for nanomedicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3539-3557
Number of pages19
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Volume20
Issue number28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Fingerprint

Nanomedicine
Medical nanotechnology
Nucleic Acids
Denaturation
DNA
Conformations
Nucleic Acid Denaturation
Nucleic Acid Hybridization
Electrochemistry
Enzyme Stability
Nanostructures
Atomic Force Microscopy
Fluorescence Spectrometry
Nanosystems
Drug Delivery Systems
Gold
Nanoparticles
Fluorescence spectroscopy
Self assembled monolayers
Enzymes

Keywords

  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Crowding
  • Denaturation
  • Detection
  • DNA
  • Electrochemistry
  • Enzymes
  • Fluorescence
  • Hybridization
  • Molecular device
  • Nanoarray
  • Nanomanipulation
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nucleases
  • Nucleic acids
  • RNA
  • Self-assembled monolayers
  • Self-assembly
  • Steric hindrance
  • Surfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Castronovo, M., Stopar, A., Coral, L., Redhu, S. K., Vidonis, M., Kumar, V., ... Nicholson, A. W. (2013). Effects of nanoscale confinement on the functionality of nucleic acids: Implications for nanomedicine. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 20(28), 3539-3557. https://doi.org/10.2174/09298673113209990173

Effects of nanoscale confinement on the functionality of nucleic acids : Implications for nanomedicine. / Castronovo, M.; Stopar, A.; Coral, L.; Redhu, S. K.; Vidonis, M.; Kumar, V.; Del Ben, F.; Grassi, M.; Nicholson, A. W.

In: Current Medicinal Chemistry, Vol. 20, No. 28, 09.2013, p. 3539-3557.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Castronovo, M, Stopar, A, Coral, L, Redhu, SK, Vidonis, M, Kumar, V, Del Ben, F, Grassi, M & Nicholson, AW 2013, 'Effects of nanoscale confinement on the functionality of nucleic acids: Implications for nanomedicine', Current Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 20, no. 28, pp. 3539-3557. https://doi.org/10.2174/09298673113209990173
Castronovo, M. ; Stopar, A. ; Coral, L. ; Redhu, S. K. ; Vidonis, M. ; Kumar, V. ; Del Ben, F. ; Grassi, M. ; Nicholson, A. W. / Effects of nanoscale confinement on the functionality of nucleic acids : Implications for nanomedicine. In: Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2013 ; Vol. 20, No. 28. pp. 3539-3557.
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