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Nano Research

Article Title

Construction of RNA nanotubes

Authors

Hui Li, Center for RNA Nanobiotechnology and Nanomedicine; Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Department of Physiology & Cell Biology, College of Medicine; Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute and James Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
Shaoying Wang, Center for RNA Nanobiotechnology and Nanomedicine; Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Department of Physiology & Cell Biology, College of Medicine; Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute and James Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
Zhouxiang Ji, Center for RNA Nanobiotechnology and Nanomedicine; Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Department of Physiology & Cell Biology, College of Medicine; Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute and James Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
Congcong Xu, Center for RNA Nanobiotechnology and Nanomedicine; Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Department of Physiology & Cell Biology, College of Medicine; Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute and James Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
Lyudmila S. Shlyakhtenko, UNMC Nanoimaging Core Facility, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, 68182, USA
Peixuan Guo, Center for RNA Nanobiotechnology and Nanomedicine; Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Department of Physiology & Cell Biology, College of Medicine; Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute and James Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA

Keywords

RNA nanotechnology, peptide sensing, RNA nanotube, nanobiotechnology

Abstract

Nanotubes are miniature materials with significant potential applications in nanotechnological, medical, biological and material sciences. The quest for manufacturing methods of nano-mechanical modules is in progress. For example, the application of carbon nanotubes has been extensively investigated due to the precise width control, but the precise length control remains challenging. Here we report two approaches for the one-pot self-assembly of RNA nanotubes. For the first approach, six RNA strands were used to assemble the nanotube by forming a 11 nm long hollow channel with the inner diameter of 1.7 nm and the outside diameter of 6.3 nm. For the second approach, six RNA strands were designed to hybridize with their neighboring strands by complementary base pairing and formed a nanotube with a six-helix hollow channel similar to the nanotube assembled by the first approach. The fabricated RNA nanotubes were characterized by gel electrophoresis and atomic force microscopy (AFM), confirming the formation of nanotube-shaped RNA nanostructures. Cholesterol molecules were introduced into RNA nanotubes to facilitate their incorporation into lipid bilayer. Incubation of RNA nanotube complex with the free-standing lipid bilayer membrane under applied voltage led to discrete current signatures. Addition of peptides into the sensing chamber revealed discrete steps of current blockage. Polyarginine peptides with different lengths can be detected by current signatures, suggesting that the RNA-cholesterol complex holds the promise of achieving single molecule sensing of peptides.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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