DNA: One of the Biological Macromolecules that Contain Knots

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In the article “One- pot pentaknot,” published by Advance Online Publishers and submitted to the Nature Chemistry Journal in November, 2011, Ayme Et. Al., (2011) describes DNA as one of the biological macromolecules that contain knots. The report states that knots are also found in proteins and are important structural components of deoxyribonucleic acids.

Similarly, the report, “New Motifs in DNA nanotechnology” by Seeman et al, (1998) outlines the importance of knots in DNA and the ability of various types of DNA to form knots. The report also states that the DNA molecule has a unique ability to pair with other DNA molecules through specific nucleotide base pairing. The report also describes ways in which this unique ability of DNA makes it an important construction material as well as outlining techniques of constructing DNA knots, polyhedrals and catenanes.

Finally, this article outlines the ideas and techniques of supra-molecular knot formation described in the article, “Metallo-supra-molecular self-assembly of a universal 3-ravel”, by Feng et. al, (2011). The report uses the twenty-component Fe8L12 supra-molecule to describe the techniques of branched knot formation through metallo-supra-molecular assembly.

DNA Knots and Polyhedrals in DNA Nanotechnology

DNA is a double stranded polynucleotide. It contains biological information and regulates the functions of a cell as well as determining an organism’s phenotype. Knots are found in both DNA and some proteins (Jean.F et al. 2011). In the recent past, scientists have been using unusual DNA motifs to make molecular building blocks. This is done though the joining of DNA sticky ends to form B- DNA. In their report on ‘New motifs in DNA nanotechnology,’ (Seeman et...

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...yltransferase (Nureki et al., 2002). Knowledge on ways of preparing new interlocked supra-molecular structures holds a lot of promise for the formation new molecular structures. Fe8L12 has been used in the formation of M8L1216+ cubic capsule through a self assembly reaction with Fe2 ions. Such self assembled molecules can be used for drug delivery since they form a cage which traps specific molecules and releases them through the use of triggers like a drop in pH.


Feng Li, J.K. et al., 2011. Metallosupramolecular self-assembly of a universal 3-ravel. Thesis.

Sydney: Macmillan Publishers Limited The University of Sydney.

Jean.F et al., 2011. A synthetic molecular pentafoil knot. Nature Chemistry, 10(1193), pp.1-5.

Seeman, N. et al., 1998. S0957-4484(98)90835-2 New motifs in DNA nanotechnology. New

York: IOP Publishing Ltd New York University.
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