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Franquelim, Henri G.; Khmelinskaia, Alena; Sobczak, Jean-Philippe; Dietz, Hendrik and Schwille, Petra (2018): Membrane sculpting by curved DNA origami scaffolds. In: Nature Communications, Vol. 9, 811 [PDF, 2MB]

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Membrane sculpting and transformation is essential for many cellular functions, thus being largely regulated by self-assembling and self-organizing protein coats. Their functionality is often encoded by particular spatial structures. Prominent examples are BAR domain proteins, the 'banana-like' shapes of which are thought to aid scaffolding and membrane tubulation. To elucidate whether 3D structure can be uncoupled from other functional features of complex scaffolding proteins, we hereby develop curved DNA origami in various shapes and stacking features, following the presumable design features of BAR proteins, and characterize their ability for membrane binding and transformation. We show that dependent on curvature, membrane affinity and surface density, DNA origami coats can indeed reproduce the activity of membrane-sculpting proteins such as BAR, suggesting exciting perspectives for using them in bottom-up approaches towards minimal biomimetic cellular machineries.

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