Coating of Single DNA Molecules by Genetically Engineered Protein Diblock Copolymers

Hernandez Garcia, A.; Werten, M.W.T.; Cohen Stuart, M.A.; Wolf, F.A. de; Vries, R.J. de


Coating DNA is an effective way to modulate its physical properties and interactions. Current chemosynthetic polymers form DNA aggregates with random size and shape. In this study, monodisperse protein diblock copolymers are produced at high yield in recombinant yeast. They carry a large hydrophilic colloidal block (˜400 amino acids) linked to a short binding block (˜12 basic amino acids). It is demonstrated that these protein polymers complex single DNA molecules as highly stable nanorods, reminiscent of cylindrical viruses. It is proposed that inter- and intramolecular bridging of DNA molecules are prevented completely by the small size of the binding block attached to the large colloidal stability block. These protein diblocks serve as a scaffold that can be tuned for application in DNA-based nanotechnology.