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Nano-particle functionalisation of RNA

A reliable method has been developed for attaching gold nano-particles of various sizes (generally 15 or 30nm), to self-assembling RNA molecules. Attachment of the gold particles to the RNA was performed by initially attaching short oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs), which were complementary to single-stranded regions of the RNA motifs. Using this procedure up to approximately 75 RNA molecules can be attached to a 15nm gold particle. The number of RNA molecules per particle can also be reduced in a controllable manner by means of ODNs that competed with the RNA hybridisation sites. In the simplest case, nanoparticle association has been demonstrated between small and large particles, each carrying a specific partner of a Mg2+-dependent, RNA tetraloop-receptor interaction. Control experiments were also able to demonstrate that the association was both Mg2+-dependent and sequence specific. These Mg2+-dependent loop-receptor interactions have been used to position gold particles between two modified electrodes. This work has been submitted for publication and clearly has the potential to create nanoscale wires in a controlled and predictable fashion.

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Reported by

University of Liverpool
Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool
L69 3BX Liverpool
United Kingdom
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