DNA nanostructures get camouflaged by proteins

Straightforward and modular coating strategy can bring programmed DNA origami-based drug-delivery vehicles and nanodevices closer to clinical applications.

Researchers from Aalto University and Helsinki University have reported a strategy that significantly increases the stability of DNA nanostructures against DNA digesting enzymes, enhances delivery rates and, most importantly, suppresses DNA-induced immune response.

“The hypothesis is based on coating the DNA structures by inert proteins, namely serum albumins, with the help of a synthetic DNA-binding domain that is covalently linked to the protein”, explains Adjunct Professor Veikko Linko from Aalto University.

The strategy was that as the DNA nanostructure – in this study a brick-like DNA origami – is negatively charged, the positively charged multivalent binding domain (dendron) can attach to the surface of the DNA object through electrostatic interactions. By adjusting the binding efficiency and the amount of protein-dendron conjugates used for coating, it was possible to form a dense and uniform protein corona around the DNA origami.

The study showed that the immune system can be ‘bluffed’ when the DNA nanostructures are camouflaged by proteins as the protein-coated DNA structures efficiently attenuated the activation of immune response determined from mouse primary spleen cells.

Read the whole press release from the Aalto University website

Article: Protein Coating of DNA Nanostructures for Enhanced Stability and Immunocompatibility