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Khmelinskaia, Alena; Franquelim, Henri G.; Petrov, Eugene P. and Schwille, Petra (2016): Effect of anchor positioning on binding and diffusion of elongated 3D DNA nanostructures on lipid membranes. In: Journal of Physics D-Applied Physics, Vol. 49, No. 19, 194001

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DNA origami is a state-of-the-art technology that enables the fabrication of nano-objects with defined shapes, to which functional moieties, such as lipophilic anchors, can be attached with a nanometre scale precision. Although binding of DNA origami to lipid membranes has been extensively demonstrated, the specific requirements necessary for membrane attachment are greatly overlooked. Here, we designed a set of amphipathic rectangular-shaped DNA origami structures with varying placement and number of chol-TEG anchors used for membrane attachment. Single- and multiple-cholesteryl-modified origami nanostructures were produced and studied in terms of their membrane localization, density and dynamics. We show that the positioning of at least two chol-TEG moieties near the corners is essential to ensure efficient membrane binding of large DNA nanostructures. Quantitative fluorescence correlation spectroscopy data further confirm that increasing the number of corner-positioned chol-TEG anchors lowers the dynamics of flat DNA origami structures on freestanding membranes. Taken together, our approach provides the first evidence of the importance of the location in addition to the number of hydrophobic moieties when rationally designing minimal DNA nanostructures with controlled membrane binding.

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