Structure and Dynamics of Nucleic Acids
Bionanotechnology aims to learn from nature - to understand the structure and function of biological devices and to utilise nature's solutions in advancing science and engineering. Evolution has produced an overwhelming number and variety of biological devices that function at the nanoscale or molecular level. My lab’s central theme is one of ‘synthetic biology’, which involves taking a biological device, component or concept out of its cellular context and harnessing its function in a completely new setting to probe, program or even reprogram living systems. Our current research involves understanding the structure and dynamics of unusual forms of DNA and translating this knowledge to create DNA-based nanodevices for applications in bionanotechnology.
Structural DNA nanotechnology is an emerging field that uses the base-complementarity design principle of DNA to create ordered superstructures from a set of DNA sequences that self-assemble into regular, well-defined topologies on the nanoscale. With a diameter of 2 nm and a helical periodicity of 3.5 nm, the DNA double helix is inherently a nanoscale object. The specificity of Watson-Crick base pairing endows oligonucleotides with unique and predictable recognition capabilities. This makes DNA an ideal nanoscale construction material. Understanding and thereby controlling structure and dynamics in DNA is thus key to realizing its potential as a nanoscale building block for device applications of structural DNA nanotechnology. These DNA nanodevices may function as rigid scaffolds in 1D, 2D or 3D or as dynamic switches.
- Modi, S., Nizak, C., Surana, S., Halder, S. and Krishnan, Y.* (2013) Two DNA nanomachines map pH of intersecting endocytic pathways. Nature Nanotechnology, accepted.
- Surana, S., Bhatia, D. and Krishnan, Y.* (2013) A method to study in vivo stability of DNA nanostructures. Methods, accepted.
- Banerjee, A., Bhatia, D., Saminathan, A., Chakraborty, S., Kar, S. and Krishnan, Y.* (2013) Controlled release of encapsulated cargo from a DNA icosahedron using a chemical trigger. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. accepted.
- Krishnan, Y., Bathe, M. (2012) Designer nucleic acids to probe and program the cell. Trends in Cell Biology, 22, 624-633.
- Bhatia, D., Chakraborty, S. and Krishnan, Y.* (2012) Designer DNA give RNAi more spine. Nature Nanotechnology, 7, 344-346.
- Chakraborty, S., Mehtab, S., Patwardhan, A.R., Krishnan, Y.* (2012) Pri-miR-17-92a Transcript folds into a tertiary structure and autoregulates its processing. RNA 18, 1014-1028.
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