Sterically enhanced control of enzyme-assisted DNA assembly

Oliver J Irving, Lauren Matthews, Steven Coulthard, Robert K Neely, Melissa M. Grant, Tim Albrecht

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


Traditional methods for the assembly of functionalised DNA structures, involving enzyme restriction and modification, present difficulties when working with small DNA fragments ( <100bp), in part due to a lack of control over enzymatic action during the DNA modification process. This limits the design flexibility and range of accessible DNA structures. Here, we show that these limitations can be overcome by introducing chemical modifications into the DNA, which spatially restrict enzymatic activity. This approach, Sterically Controlled Nuclease Enhanced (SCoNE) DNA assembly, thereby circumvents the size limitations of conventional Gibson assembly (GA) and allows for the preparation of well-defined, functionalised DNA structures with multiple probes for specific analytes, such as IL-6, procalcitonin (PCT), and a biotin reporter group. Notably, using the same starting materials conventional GA under typical conditions fails. We demonstrate successful analyte capture based on standard and modified sandwich ELISA and also show how the inclusion of biotin probes provides additional functionality for product isolation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2023


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